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Friday, July 27, 2018, 17:58
Lamar Odom announces return to basketball, picks China
By Xinhua
Friday, July 27, 2018, 17:58 By Xinhua

DeAndre Jordan (left) watches as Blake Griffin (right) of the LA Clippers applies ice to Lamar Odom's head while the trio rest on the bench against the Golden State Warriors during their NBA match-up on Jan 5, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (FREDERIC J BROWN / AFP)

BEIJING — Former NBA star Lamar Odom has announced on social media that he will return to playing professional basketball, with China being his next stop. 

Odom has played 961 regular-season games in NBA, averaging 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game

"My heart literally warms up now I can finally share with you all that I'm returning to play Basketball. I will be playing in China!" Odom posted on his Instagram account with a picture depicting him dribbling. 

"Thank you fans for your love and support during all those hard years. Basketball and my children have always been the light in my life and this is where my focus is right now," the two-time NBA champion said in his announcement. 

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The 38-year-old, who has not played basketball professionally since 2014, also expressed thanks to Stephen Marbury for his encouragement. Marbury is well-known in China, thanks to his achievements with the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league, and he has helped several foreign players to play and settle in China. 

This photo taken on Feb 11, 2018 shows former NBA player Stephon Marbury taking a shot during his final game for the Chinese Basketball Association's Beijing Fly Dragons in Beijing. (PHOTO / AFP)

With rumors that Odom still wants to play in the NBA and is obsessed with Los Angeles, his decision to play in China has caught many by surprise. The power forward has not yet disclosed which Chinese team he will play for. 

Odom has played 961 regular-season games in NBA, averaging 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, he won the NBA championship in 2009 and 2010 and was named the Sixth Man of the Year in 2011. 

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Since his initial retirement, Odom has been the subject of several drug-related scandals and health scares, having been placed on life support after collapsing in late 2015. It remains unclear whether he will be able to regain his fitness to play professional basketball after several years away from the game. 

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