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Law enforcers found an unconscious Lamar Odom in Love Ranch Vegas, a brothel Northwest of Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon. Reports show that the former NBA player took a sexual enhancement herbal drug, cocaine and alcohol. Amidst all this controversy, Odom’s basketball career has been overshadowed by drug abuse and his marriage to reality star, Khloe Kardashian. However, friends and former teammates are reminding the world that Lamar Odom was much more than that; he was a legend amongst the greats and worth millions before the world of reality TV ever knew his name.
Since Odom was signed by the Los Angeles Clippers as 4th overall, this lefty power forward is estimated to have earned $110 million in on-court income. He kicked off his career with a membership in the Clippers organization with a $7.9 million contract for a period of 3 years. For another $3.6 million, he remained on the team for another year. After this, came his huge payout.
By August 2003, Odom entered a 6-year term contract amounting to $65 million with Miami Heat. He was traded to Los Angeles Lakers the following year. Odom stayed with the Lakers roster and re-signed with the team in 2009 for a $33 million payout with a 4-year term. This was Odom’s last chance for a guaranteed payout directly from the National Basketball Association.
In 2011, NBA players were reported to have an average career of 4.8 years. By that time, Odom has been in the league for more than a decade, making him a huge NBA success.
Any player who earned over $100 million from on court earnings is considered to have done really well. However, his court earnings of $100 million are exclusive of taxes and NBA agent fees (fees are capped at 4% of contract price).
Where taxes are concerned, Odom had a debacle with the Internal Revenue Service in 2007. Odom claimed tax deductions which were quite atypical – $12,000 fines for on-court behavior and an additional $178,000 fitness expenses that, according to him, were necessary stay fit. IRS assessed Odom for $87,000. In reply, Odom filed a lawsuit and final settlement required Odom to pay around $8,000.
Outside the court, Odom was never a camera favorite for endorsements despite his decade-long NBA career. He did have endorsement deals but some didn’t turn out great. Take for instance his endorsement of Power Balance bracelets where he was accused of endorsing a brand, together with fellow brand endorser Shaquille O’Neal, which was falsely advertised to have the ability to “optimize the body’s natural energy flow.”
Currently, the state of Odom’s financial affairs is unknown.
Sports Illustrated published in 2009 that within 5 years of retirement, 60% of NBA players were broke. But a study conducted by National Basketball Players Association disproves this claim stating that within 10 years from their retirement only 6 to 8% of players lost a significant sum of money or were destitute. Hopefully, Odom makes a full recovery and has saved enough to allow him to live comfortably throughout his retirement without squandering his earnings, irrespective of which of the two studies prove to be more accurate.