Lamar Odom: How his love for fame ruined his NBA carreer

4 mins read
Fame is like a powerful drug to the many people who pursue it and can’t imagine their lives without it. Fame bestows heroic power to those who obtain it, having in their minds the fact that they can get the best table in a very busy restaurant, cut any line in the store without a fuss and always force random people to gasp and point and treat the famous person higher than they would a best friend.Fame is able to  persuade a fading former child star to turn a cheap stripper and twerk on national TV and find a creative way to use a foam finger. And fame can tell a professional basketball player, who already had a small measure of it, that he needed love and something more and therefore should marry into the First Family Of Fame, a group of pretty people who are famous for, well, being famous.

Now we are left to wonder if fame played any role in driving Lamar Odom into a dark and troubled world, or if he’s just sneakily trying to push Miley Cyrus off center stage. Is the latest from Lamar a publicity stunt designed to sell more supermarket tabloids or is it a cry for help? Either way, it’s a bad move for Odom and will not revive a crumbling basketball career.

Depending on whom you ask and or believe — has TMZ ever been wrong about these things? –Odom just resurfaced recently after being on the lam and zonked out of his mind on drugs. It’s really hard to say for sure when you’re trying to keep up with the Kardashians, hard to tell where reality ends and reality TV begins. This is what Odom signed up for when he married Khloe, even though she’s considered the most grounded of the Kardashian gang.

“Lamar Odom – The NBA Drug Trail,” blared one headline.

“Khloe Kardashian And Lamar Odom – SEPARATED,” claimed another.

These “developments” involving Odom were enough to cause a concerned Magic Johnson to wonder,through Twitter, whether Odom was safe and sound. Former teammates did the same, just not through social media. The still-developing drama, be it truth or fable, is being consumed in heavy doses by the Hollywood press while a segment of the sports world is busy tsk-tsking and saying “told-you-so.”

When your life is being dissected more by Inside Edition and the National Enquirer and TMZ than Sports Illustrated (and, OK, Sports on Earth) then something is amiss. Life is not normal. Maybe this is what Odom wanted, something the NBA by itself could not give him, but it’s a level of attention he knew would eventually intrude too deeply into his life and reveal parts of it that he’d rather keep on the low.

Odom has always been smart and affable and considered a stand-up guy, and also a bit… different. He admitted in the past to smoking reefer (Odom has violated the NBA’s anti-drug policy twice, although the nature of his drug wasn’t revealed). A part of him was destroyed forever when his infant son died unexpectedly. He played for the Clippers before Chris Paul (the first time), and the Heat before the Big Three, and the Lakers immediately after Shaquille O’Neal left, the trifecta of being in the right-place, wrong-time. Then he scored a pair of championship rings with the Lakers by carving out a sixth-man niche for himself and marrying into the FFOF in the midst of it all.

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