From fielding big names like Hasheem Thabeet and Marcus Douthit in earlier international tournaments, the Mighty Sports Philippines officially welcomed their most accomplished star yet in two-time NBA Champion Lamar Odom.
A recipient of the NBA Sixth Man of The Year award in 2011, the 14-year NBA vet arrived in Manila on Wednesday, January 23, just in time to join his new team’s first official practice for the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship, scheduled from February 1 to 9.
The Dubai-tourney marks Odom’s official return to the basketball scene since his he last suited up for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013. Odom’s attempt at a basketball comeback was cut short in 2014, when a back injury deemed him unable to play for Spanish team Laboral Kutxa Baskonia.
Although he’s been away from the game for quite sometime, the 6’10 point-forward is expected to display exemplary playmaking skills for size, while also showing the ability to create baskets both in the perimeter and the interior.
Led by head coach Charles Tiu, Mighty Sports hopes Odom’s inclusion will help the team avenge their putrid showing in the Dubai International Basketball Tournament in 2017, where the ill-prepared squad only managed to win a single game.
Odom, on the other hand, is expected to use the tournament to help him prepare for Ice Cube’s BIG3 3-on-3 basketball league, as well as the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
Joining Odom in the line-up are Barangay Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee, CBA veteran Randolf Morris, as well as Fil-Am players Jeremiah Gray and Roosevelt Adams.
Ex-PBA players Joseph Yeo, Gab Banal, UAAP and NCAA stars Juan Gomez de Liano, Santi Santillan, Justin Gutang, Troy Rike and recently retired PBA player Jet Manuel round up the line-up. Decorated bench boss Jong Uichico and former UP Fighting Maroon Woody Co will serve as Tiu’s assistants.