Lamar Odom: Did L.A. Lakers Forward Sign with Besiktas over Financial Troubles?

Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom has agreed to play for Turkish club Besiktas during the NBA lockout. This agreement comes one day after initial reports suggested Besiktas was in talks with the Lakers star.

Sources say the deal is worth in excess of $2 million if L.O. spends the rest of the season with Besiktas.

When the deal was first reported Tuesday, I remained skeptical over both the source and the timing of the deal, but it seems all but official now with Odom indicating he will join the Turkish team as early as next week.

So what does Odom have to gain by playing overseas?

To start, competitive offseason basketball for the 32-year-old can certainly benefit his NBA pursuits. 

After he led Team USA to the gold medal in the summer 2010 FIBA World Championship, Odom arrived at training camp in exceptional shape and arguably played the best basketball for the Lakers during the first two months of the 2010-2011 season.

Serving as one of the few veterans on Team USA, L.O. discovered the confidence and swagger to finally shatter the role player label that has followed him his entire Laker career, as he rightfully established himself as one of the game's premier players last year, culminating in a successful NBA Sixth Man of the Year campaign.

Now at the top of his game and full of confidence, L.O. may be searching for something else from the international stage: financing.

Just three days prior to his agreement with the Turkish club, Southern California wristband company Power Balance filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after settling a class action lawsuit for $57.4 million.

The Queens native and 12-year veteran is a minority investor in the company.

His level of ownership is not publicly known, but as a minority investor, it must be somewhere above zero percent and less than 50 percent.

As owner of the company, L.O. is ...

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