Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told Jay Leno on Tuesday night that he knew forward Lamar Odom was a troubled man when he played for the Mavs.
After acquiring Odom from the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the 2011-'12 season, Odom's repeated troubles eventually led to the Mavs releasing him on Apr. 9, 2012. That transaction came with nine games remaining in the season -- two days following a big halftime blowup in the Mavs' locker room in Memphis between Cuban and Odom on Apr. 7.
"Lamar was troubled when he was with the Mavs,'' Cuban told Leno on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. "He's one of those guys that you want to connect with -- he seems to have a good heart.
"But once he got traded from the Lakers to us he just wasn't all there basketball-wise. It ended up where I basically had to kick him off the team, and that's when I saw things go South.''
Cuban told Leno he believes Odom, who is not with a team right now, can resurrect his NBA career.
"The NBA loves second chances, we want to give guys another chance,'' Cuban told Leno. "I think if Lamar gets focused and gets in shape, he's talented, he can definitely play.''
When Leno said he knew Odom wasn't happy when he played for the Mavericks, Cuban said: "Neither was I.''
-- Dwain Price
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