His life had taken him to peaks and to crashes in the valley.
Lamar Odom, the ex-Laker and Clipper, experienced everything in his pro basketball career. Now he lies near death in Las Vegas, a life ruined, by his own personal decisions.
There is an overflow of sadness from lots of places today about Lamar Odom. A child’s mind in a star athlete’s body. A genuine person, friendly towards everyone. A kindred spirit on a roster and on the court. A troubled person, beset by life’s setbacks away from the game.
Odom was found unresponsive in a brothel in Nevada, near death from a significant overdose of liquor, Viagra pills, having done cocaine and heroin. The man with the constant smile was found face down, bleeding from the nose and mouth, vomiting all the pills he had ingested. No one will ever see that smile again. .
His career over, now sadly, his life likely over, with reports of being comatose, brain damaged, and having suffered a stroke by virtual of blood clots, triggered by the drug list of things found in his system.
Gifted is the easiest term to use to describe Odom’s talents. God-awful, the way to describe the things that were part of his life.
Broken family. Death of a son. A reality show marriage to a Kardashian. A divorce. A lifestyle of the rich and famous, that became a dreary story of someone down on his luck.
Odom was such a smooth player. Phil Jackson coached him up. Kobe Bryant loved his camaraderie. The Clippers, Miami, and Dallas all liked having his talents, his personality on the roster. He played 14-years in the Association and to the very end was dedicated to his craft, even while his personal life was falling apart.
At age 35, it was indeed the worst case scenario. Eroding skills, injuries, and the paychecks stopped coming. What to do without basketball.
The reality TV show, that painted him so poorly, is what may have finally set him off. It pushed him over the emotional cliff that he would be portrayed so badly by the family he married into. But that’s what reality TV and that reality marriage became, going off the cliff..
Money in his pocket, fame still around him, he lived hard, and now will likely die because of it.
As his post playing career careened off-track, people, players, teammates, friends, tried to reach out to him. He seldom responded. He was lost in a haze of drugs and depression, sadness and stupidity.
Lamar Odom was such a strong power forward in the NBA. He was so fragile as a person away from the court.
You could be sad, maybe even mad, but Odom lived life on his own terms, made his choices, and now will deal with the consequences.