Lamar Odom’s Off-Court Fear And Loathing
Lamar Odom is neither the first nor the last professional athlete to struggle with drugs and addiction. Names like Nate Newton, John Hamilton, Diego Maradona and Dennis Rodman are the first to come to mind, but there have been many, many more. Quite often, these are superb athletes, people who have changed their respective sports – sportsmen whose careers could hardly be better.
Lamar Odom fits the bill. For the most part, he has been a very important part of the teams he played for, winning a couple of NBA titles along the way. In fact, he might be one of the most underrated NBA players in the last two decades, if not THE most underrated. Unfortunately for him and his loved ones, his game off the court was never as strong as his game on the court.
Like in so many cases, his story starts with his childhood. Namely, his father was a drug addict since forever and whether you want to admit it or not, it leaves a mark. It definitely left a mark on Lamar, even though the two of them were never close. The fact that his mother died when he was only 12 didn’t help either.
Throughout his career, even during his golden years, there were always rumors that he might be enjoying illegal drugs, as well as abusing legal medication that was prescribed to him for various injuries. As early as 2001, Lamar was suspended from the Clippers after a marijuana test came in positive. Later in his career, he also tested positive for OxyContin. After he refused to respond to an intervention his teammates staged because of his use of OxyContin and Ambien, the Los Angeles Clippers waved him.
Personal tragedies have also plagued his private life, such as the death of his infant son in 2006, the murder of his cousin in 2011 and the death of a 15-year old boy he witnessed mere days later. Perhaps the weirdest thing in the whole story is that the ones who always stood by him, at least according to Lamar himself, have been the Kardashians, the family of his wife Khloe Kardashian.
Over the years, Lamar did try to shake his demons. In 2012, it was reported that he checked himself into rehab, once again backed by the Kardashians. In 2013, however, he was arrested for driving under the influence. Somewhere in between, TMZ reported that Odom was spending time in someone’s home with crack cocaine and a couple of ladies for company.
This year, things went from bad to worse for Lamar, with two of his friend losing their lives from drug-related problems within a week of each other. His friend Jamie Sangouthai died from a flesh-eating bacterial infection he got from sharing a dirty needle and his other friend Bobby Heyward died from an overdose.
It all culminated a couple of days ago when Lamar was found unconscious at a brothel in Nevada. The reports have been coming in at an insane pace since the first news broke, many of them saying he suffered brain damage and that various drugs are to blame, from crack cocaine to sexual enhancement supplements. At the moment it is all unsubstantiated and we really do not feel like speculating.
We do wish him all the best, though.