There is a stigma in society about drug users. Add a little under $116 million made in a 13-year career and it is very easy to jump to conclusions. This must be a spoiled athlete who was arrogant enough to think he can do it all and come out on the other side, right?
Lamar Odom played a total of 961 games, won two championships, a 6th player award, and was universally loved by teammates. He was praised for his team-first attitude, doing all the dirty work and not minding when for instance a young Andrew Bynum took his place in the starting five. How much did he mean to his team? Best you hear it from Phil Jackson and teammates:
Unfortunately, his drug abuse culminated in 2015 when he was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel and ended up in a coma. In a recent interview, Kevin Hart’s “Cold As Balls” series Lamar revealed he had 12 strokes and 6 heart attacks while he was in the coma.
Luckily, Lamar recovered and has been given a second chance. By all accounts, he appreciates the luck he had and is doing much better now. He attributed his addiction to bad decisions and anxiety, being another prominent NBA player speaking up about the mental health issues he had alongside DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love.
A tremendous player and an even better teammate, we all hope he manages to stay strong and healthy for his family and all of us who love basketball. A new chapter in the Lamar Odom Show.