*Shortly after ESPN First Take personality Stephen A Smith joked that Lamar Odom “was on crack” when he got signed to the New York Knicks in 2014, Odom returned fire through a letter written by his legal counsel.
In case you missed his comments, Smith said: “[Jackson’s] very first move as executive was to sign Lamar Odom…Who was on crack!” Smith screamed. “I love Lamar Odom the person, and God bless him and we’re wishing nothing but the best — but metaphorically speaking, his first move as the executive of the New York Knicks was to sign Lamar Odom, who was on crack!”
“Let us look at what this statement does, not only to Lamar, but to any and all professional athletes that are struggling with addiction,” Odom’s lawyer wrote in the letter, which the former athlete shared via Twitter, along with the hashtag “#slander.”
Peep the letter below.
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— LAMAR ODOM (@RealLamarOdom) June 23, 2017
The lawyer continued, “To say that this conduct was outrageous and unacceptable does not scratch the surface. Think about the others that are battling addiction.”
The letter also notes that Odom passed a physical and all other required tests in order to play in the NBA at the time.
It’s no secret that Odom has a long history of drug and alcohol abuse. You recall he nearly died in October 2015 from an overdose, after being discovered unconscious at a brothel in Nevada.
Last month, his teen daughter, Destiny, spoke out for the first time about her father’s overdose.
“I used to worry that [my dad’s] addiction was my own fault but after talking to therapists and drug specialists, you just know the way that an addict’s brain is chemically wired,” she said in a People/Entertainment Weekly (PEN) feature, “Surviving A Father’s Addiction: Lamar Odom’s Family Speaks Out.”
She continued, “They can love you, they would do anything for you, but at the end of the day, there’s a chemical dependency on drugs.” Adding that, “When your parent’s an addict and they get clean, it’s like a whole new world. When he’s clean, he’s more able to see the pain that he’s caused.”
The letter also requests that ESPN use the matter to better educate viewers about addiction.