One is a player that can’t find a team; the other is a head coach who only recently got his new job, and is already setting a bad example. Lamar Odom didn’t surprise anyone as the melodrama in his life turned into a DUI arrest, while Mike Mudenholzer, the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, was stopped for the same violation.
The trajectory of Odom’s career couldn’t have gone anywhere else. From NBA champion, to reality star while being a depressed player in Dallas, to a forgettable season for the Clippers and a summer in which he pushed himself away from basketball, while drawing closer and closer to dangerous addictions, which have put his life at risk.
There’s nothing about Budenholzer’s past, or at least the one that we know of, to suggest this would have been coming. According to the Atlanta Hawks head coach, it was only one glass of wine he finished about 15 minutes before getting into a car and driving. According to the police report, he was slow to respond, with his eyes looking watery and his speech being slurred. Sounds a lot more than just one glass.
The head coach has already issued an apology, but there’s a good chance this isn’t over, with the NBA not so used to dealing with head coaches violating these kind of laws and regulations.
I take my role as a leader very seriously and hold myself to a high standard. I apologize to the fans and to the Hawks organization for any negative attention this incident has brought upon my family and the organization while the legal process evolves and I contest these misdemeanor charges.
As for Odom? Most of what we’ve heard this summer was about how he’s trying to choose between the Clippers and the Lakers, but the two teams weren’t sure if to re-sign the big man who seemed to have lost interest in basketball the moment he was involved in a cancelled trade in the Chris Paul affair.
Odom made the headlines this week for all the wrong reasons. Alleged drug abuse, disappearing for 72 hours while being held by his friends in a hotel, having an intervention. Nothing that indicates he has an NBA career to look forward to. Now the DUI arrest. Things keep remaining in a downhill pattern. Someone suggested the Lakers have promised him a spot on their roster if he can turn his life around. It’s not quite clear if that’s enough motivation for him at this point of his life.
With Budenholzer, there’s a chance that this is a one time thing, and we might be able to forget about it, unless ugly truths are unveiled. Sadly, with Odom, this might be just another fork in a twisted and ugly road.