By Richard Winton and Ben Bolch
3:40 PM EDT, September 5, 2013
Lamar Odom is receiving treatment for issues related to his recent arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to a source close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
People.com reported that the former Lakers and Clippers star has checked into an undisclosed drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.
[12:39 p.m. update: A person close to Odom, who would not speak publicly, said Thursday that he has not checked into a rehab facility.]
Jeff Schwartz, Odom’s agent, did not return a call seeking comment.
Odom has not been charged in connection with his arrest Aug. 30 after he was spotted driving his white Mercedes sport utility vehicle erratically on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley.
Odom’s driver’s license was suspended for one year after he refused to take chemical tests intended to determine his level and type of intoxication. He has retained famed attorney Robert Shapiro to represent him.
Shapiro is a longtime family friend of Odom’s wife, Khloe Kardashian Odom, and served alongside Robert Kardashian, Khloe’s father, as part of the legal team that obtained a not-guilty verdict for O.J. Simpson in the 1994 killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Shapiro also recently successfully represented Khloe’s brother, Rob Kardashian, in a battery case.
Shapiro has regularly represented clients seeking treatment for drug addiction since his son Brent's drug-related death in 2005. The following year, Shapiro founded the Brent Shapiro Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Awareness, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for awareness, treatment and research related to addiction issues.
Odom, 33, remains a free agent less than a month before the start of NBA training camps. If he signs with a team and is convicted of a DUI, he will face a mandatory evaluation by the director of the NBA's antidrug program, according to terms of the league's collective bargaining agreement.
Odom played seven seasons for the Lakers and was a key player on two championship teams. He also won the Sixth Man of the Year Award in the 2010-11 season. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged career lows in points (4.0), assists (1.7) and minutes (19.7) last season with the Clippers.
Former Lakers teammate Pau Gasol, in Buenos Aires to present Madrid’s case to host the 2020 Olympics, was asked about Odom entering rehab.
“I read that this morning,” Gasol said. “I can't confirm it. I tried to get in touch with Lamar but I haven't been able to do it.... I wish that he is well and, if these rumors are true, that he recovers because I have a great love for Lamar."
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