Lamar Odom is not amused. During Thursday’s episode of the ESPN show First Take, commentator Stephen A. Smith joked about the former NBA star’s crack addiction when discussing New York Knicks owner Phil Jackson. “Jackson’s very first move as executive was to sign Lamar Odom…Who was on crack!” Stephen yelled. “I love Lamar Odom the person, and God bless him and we’re wishing nothing but the best but...he was on crack!” Lamar, however, didn’t find it funny, and he had his lawyer send a letter to ESPN, slamming the commentator’s remarks! Click through to read the letter in full.
“Let us look at what this statement does, not only to Lamar, but to any and all professional athletes that are struggling with addiction,” Lamar’s lawyer wrote, noting that Lamar had “passed all the required physicals and medical tests necessary to play in the league,” despite Stephen’s claims.
Lamar’s lawyer then noted that the National Institute of Drug Abuse defines addiction as a “brain disease,” which Stephen chose to use “as the butt of a joke.”
“To say that his conduct was outrageous and unacceptable does not scratch the surface,” Lamar’s lawyer stated, calling Stephen’s joke about Lamar’s addiction “vulgar” and “grotesque.”
Lamar’s lawyer then called on those at ESPN to “actively voice their disdain for” Stephen’s “inappropriate statement,” which he claimed could have a negative effect on “young impressionable minds” also struggling with addiction.
As OK! readers know, Lamar’s crack addiction took a nearly fatal turn when he was found unconscious in a brothel in 2015. He has since entered rehab and has reportedly started filming a reality show documenting his battle to stay sober.
What do you think of Stephen’s commentary and Lamar's response? Sound off in the comments below!