Former NBA star Lamar Odom was deactivated from the BIG3 league on Wednesday, a move that has left the athlete “extremely disappointed.”
“Effectively immediately, Baron Davis, Bonzi Wells, Lamar Odom, and Jermaine O’Neal will be deactivated for the 2019 BIG3 season,” a press release from the league reads.
Odom was kicked to the curb after having played just one game as co-captain of the Enemies. The league’s statement said the decision to drop him and the other players came “after a series of consultations with players, coaches and league leadership.”
League co-founder, rapper/actor Ice Cube, is now speaking out about why Odom and his fellow players were booted.
“As a league, we want players that are actually playing, so if you aren’t playing, or can’t play, or you have any health issues,” Cube tells TMZ Sports that BIG3 doesn’t have room for you.”
BIG3 noted in its statement that “Such changes are being implemented to maximize competition, protect the health of players, and to raise the level of the professionalism of the BIG3.”
Odom, who nearly died of a drug overdose back in 2015, posted a lengthy statement on his official Instagram account on Friday, explaining that he found out through the media about being cut from the league.
“I respect @icecube & the other league executives, however, I am extremely disappointed with the way that this has been handled,” he said.
“Besides the embarrassment, it’s disappointing to read on IG that this decision had been made, especially without sharing it with myself or my manager,” he added. “Only after I heard from the media, I was then told that the big boys cutting checks decided that they had to deactivate me with no real specific explanation.”
According to TMZ, the Big3 claims they reached out to Odom several times before going public but were unable to reach him.
In response to Cube telling TMZ that “my health was their concern,” Odom makes clear that he has been “100% transparent about my condition before signing the contract, but at that point, it wasn’t an issue.”
Odom wants his fans and supporters to know that he “worked very hard to make a comeback in my life & no rejection can stop me.”
View this post on Instagram
As most of you have heard, the @thebig3 decided to deactivate me for the remainder of the 2019 season. I respect @icecube & the other league executives, however, I am extremely disappointed with the way that this has been handled. Besides the embarrassment, it’s disappointing to read on IG that this decision had been made, especially without sharing it with myself or my manager. Only after I heard from the media, I was then told that the big boys cutting checks decided that they had to deactivate me with no real specific explanation. TMZ apparently did manage to get a clear answer from Ice Cube, “my health was their concern.” I have been 100% transparent about my condition before signing the contract, but at that point it wasn’t an issue. I was told after game #1 that I had been given extra time to get stronger. I have been working hard daily to get in better game shape. The willingness & intent has always been there to play. The Rhode Island game that is happening tomorrow was the game I have been looking forward to the most as many people know that this is where it all started for me. I am aware that at some point in life we have to accept & surrender to what God has planned or not planned for us — so I am staying positive. I worked very hard to make a comeback in my life & no rejection can stop me. Thank you @TheBig3. I would love for you all not to express any negativity towards the Big3 as I am proud & rooting hard for Ice Cube to build this league to the next level. He is the only black male owning a sports league in the USA, just let that one sink in for a moment. We must always think about the big picture, supporting our brothers & sisters. Let’s all be open to live with the concept of feedback because this can help us to improve. I hope that we can use this situation as a lesson to grow, heal and become better people. I salute all of you, thank you for the love & energy. S/O to Ed Brown for letting me wear his jersey for the Slam photoshoot. Much love! -Lamar. #GO #TEAM #ENEMIES !