It has been well over a year since Lamar Odom ended up in a coma after reportedly overdosing at a Nevada brothel, but the former NBA star insists he did not use drugs the night he nearly lost his life.
Odom was a guest on “The Wendy Williams Show” last week, and he declared himself sober after admitting to having a serious drug problem for years. He also spoke about the infamous October 2016 night in which he almost died.
“I wasn’t there for a (full) day. I woke up in a coma,” he said. “If I spent more than a day there … I don’t think so.”
Reports indicated Odom had been on a binge for several days at the brothel. When Odom was asked by Williams if he was high the night of the incident, he shook his head “no.”
“I think that was just God trying to talk to me and get me to stop doing whatever I was doing,” he said. “I didn’t take any drugs that night.”
When Williams pointed out that the toxicology report showed Odom had cocaine in his system, Lamar stuck to his denial.
“OK, but I didn’t,” he said.
Odom has been open about cocaine use derailing his NBA career, so it’s interesting that he is so adamant about not taking drugs the night he went into a coma. Perhaps the implication is that he accidentally ingested something, but he didn’t get into specifics.
Another noteworthy moment in the interview came when Odom said the reported incident in which he got kicked off an airplane last summer was “bulls—” and never actually happened.
Odom, 37, said he still drinks alcohol but that he is in a “good place.”
Stephen A. Smith came under fire this week for taking what many considered a cheap shot at Lamar Odom, and the ESPN personality released a statement on Friday in an attempt to clarify his comments.
Earlier in the week, Smith was ranting about Phil Jackson when he noted that one of the Knicks president’s first moves with the team was to sign Lamar Odom at the end of the 2013-2014 season despite the big man being “on crack.” In a statement released to Deadspin late Friday night, Smith praised Odom and said he only intended to bash Jackson.
“Because of my personal affection for Lamar Odom — and only for that reason — I want to return to my comments about something I’ve repeated quite often over the last few days: the flagrant ineptitude that I feel has been on continual display by Knick’s President Phil Jackson.
My comments were NOT to put any more focus on Lamar Odom’s much publicized drug use and addiction. He was not the target of my ire.
The sole focus of my comments were directed at the unmitigated disaster that Phil Jackson has created since he’s arrived in New York. It my opinion, he simply couldn’t leave soon enough.
Lamar Odom is simply one of the nicest athletes any of us have encountered, and has always been a gentlemen to everyone in NBA circles — including me — which is something I’ve repeated throughout the years.
That’s why it’s worth repeating: Lamar Odom was not the focus of my ire. My comments were entirely, totally, meant for Phil Jackson. Anyone who loves the NY Knicks, who’ve witnessed what has been transpiring over the last three years, know exactly who I was directing my comments to.
If you notice, Smith stopped short of apologizing to Odom. An attorney who represents Odom bashed Smith in a letter Friday night, and Odom tweeted the message with some commentary of his own.
Smith is as stubborn as they come, so it’s no surprise he didn’t come out and apologize. Even if what he said about Odom’s drug use was true, dragging Lamar’s addiction into a rant about Jackson was unfair.
Stephen A. Smith has been outspoken about his displeasure with Phil Jackson and James Dolan’s efforts to run the New York Knicks. Thursday on ESPN’s “First Take,” he criticized Jackson, dating back to his first days in charge of the Knicks and Jackson’s interest in Lamar Odom. Smith boisterously added that Odom was using crack cocaine at that time:
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 22, 2017
Odom, and his lawyer, have responded.
Attorney Saam Zangeneh, who represents Odom, sent a letter to ESPN regarding Smith’s comments. Odom then tweeted the entirety of the letter, using hashtags “#slander” and “#ihopewearebetterthanthis”.
— LAMAR ODOM (@RealLamarOdom) June 23, 2017
Zangeneh’s letter first denies that Odom was using drugs at the time in question, saying, “Let’s put aside the fact that Lamar passed all the required physicals and medical tests necessary to play in the league. Let’s put aside the fact that Mr. Smith attempted to qualify his statement by saying how much he likes Lamar, and wishes him well in his recovery.”
The letter goes on to criticizes Smith’s belittlement of addiction and those who battle that disease.
“Think about the others that are battling addiction. Those that have not had the strength of opportunity to share their struggle like Lamar. Imagine the effect this grotesque statement would have on any young athlete who is privately fighting this disease. To become the punch line of a vulgar joke.”
Jackson signed Odom to join the Knicks in April of 2014, but Odom never ended up playing for New York.
Shane McNichol covers college basketball and the NBA for Larry Brown Sports. He also blogs about basketball at Palestra Back and has contributed to Rush The Court, ESPN.com, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.
Lamar Odom has been a mainstay in the media for all the wrong reasons for the past several years, and that has been very difficult for members of his family. Odom’s daughter, Destiny, opened up about that recently.
Destiny, 17, said in a PEOPLE/Entertainment Weekly feature that she dealt with ridicule after Lamar began dating Khloe Kardashian. She says it became “humiliating” after her father’s battle with drug addiction became public.
“There were regular snide comments at school,” Destiny said. “And when his addiction became public, then it became a social media thing. Even people that I thought were my friends were saying stuff on social media. It was humiliating.”
Destiny was used to her family being in the public spotlight because of Lamar’s status as an NBA star, but she says Lamar marrying Khloe took things to a new level.
“Things changed when my dad married Khloe. Things were a lot more public,” she said. “When your dad’s an NBA player that’s already enough, but when he’s marrying a reality TV star, things are so public and you don’t have a private life anymore.
“It was crazy that my dad was getting married to this woman that I used to watch religiously. It was such a whirlwind, really.”
It has been well over a year since Lamar nearly died of a drug overdose, and all indications have been that he is doing much better. Destiny hasn’t seen her father in about two months, but she said she has told him she wants him to get help. Lamar is trying to land an NBA coaching gig, though it doesn’t seem like he is close to making that happen.
Lamar Odom was a guest of Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton’s at the team’s pre-draft workouts this week, and the former NBA star is hoping he is invited back in a more permanent role.
According to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, Odom said he would still like to land an assistant coaching job with the Lakers. For now, the team is only saying that Odom was a welcome guest at two days of workouts.
All indications have been that Odom is doing much better since he left rehab. Walton confirmed back in January that he had spoken to Odom about a job, but he said nothing was close to coming together. It’s unclear if any progress has been made on that front in the past five months or so.
Even if Odom does have his life on track, hiring him obviously would not come without risk. Though he is beloved by most Lakers fans, Odom’s long history with drug and alcohol abuse is well-documented. Walton and the Lakers would have to be very confident he has turned a corner in order to offer him a job.
Lamar Odom has seemingly come a long way since he nearly died of a drug overdose over a year ago, but the former NBA star still likes to go out and have a good time. He had a little trouble doing that over the weekend.
According to TMZ, Odom and two women he was with were turned away from the Red Tie Gentlemen’s Club in Van Nuys early Sunday morning. A witness who took a video said Odom’s group was denied access after they tried to cut to the front of the line.
Other patrons who were waiting in line could be heard shouting that the bouncer should let Odom in because he helped deliver a ring to Los Angeles Lakers fans, but it did nothing for Odom’s case. He and the two women eventually left.
Odom recently opened up about how drug use prematurely ended his NBA career. Some would find it concerning that he is going out to strip clubs at 3:30 a.m., but it would be unfair to make assumptions about whether or not he is staying sober.
Lamar Odom has listed his Miami home for sale, and it can be yours if you have an extra $5.2 million laying around.
Odom recently put the 8,550-square foot pad on the market, and E! News reports that he had previously been renting it out. Odom bought the home for $2.975 million while he was playing for the Miami Heat back in 2003. He is still paying a cool $56,000 per year in taxes on the property.
Shortly after Odom suffered 12 strokes and two heart attacks as a result of a drug overdose in 2015, there were rumors that he was struggling financially. His ex-wife Khloe Kardashian reportedly rented the former NBA star a home close to hers in Los Angeles so she could help him get back on his feet.
If Odom was having money problems, it’s unclear why he is just now listing his Miami mansion for sale. Perhaps the money he was making in rent on the home was sufficient enough.
Odom appears to be doing a lot better lately. He recently opened up about how cocaine helped destroy his NBA career. You see that interview here.