Lamar Odom Slams Stephen A. Smith For Slander Over Crack Joke
Lamar Odom is slamming Stephen A. Smith for “slander” after the ESPN personality made a joke about his use of crack. See video and statement below.
On Wednesday’s “First Take,” Smith was ripping into former coach Phil Jackson and his inability to successfully manage the New York Knicks. The commentator, who has been known to ruffle feathers with his intense analysis, said at one point, “His very first move as the executive was to sign Lamar Odom, who was on CRACK!” Smith went on, “I love Lamar Odom the person, and god bless him, we’re wishing nothing but the best, but metaphorically speaking, his first move as an executive of the New York Knicks was to sign Lamar Odom, who was on crack!”
Odom, who has struggled with drug addiction for years, did not appreciate his struggles being used to make some kind of humorous point. And, according to him, the claim is inaccurate as well. He tweeted on Friday night, “#slander #ihopewearebetterthanthis.” Accompanying the tweet was a copy of a letter his attorney sent on Friday to ESPN over Smith’s remarks.
“Let’s put aside the fact that Lamar passed all the require 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. Let us look at what this statement does, not only to Lamar, but to any and all professional athletes that are struggling with addiction,” writes Saam Zangeneh.
He goes on, “Mr. Smith chose to jokingly disparage Lamar for having a disease. Mr. Smith chose to shout out the fact that Lamar was sick, and to use his disease as the butt of a joke. To say that his conduct was outrageous and unacceptable does not scratch the surface.” The lawyer points out that just one day before the remark, Odom went to a rehab facility in Florida to mentor patients.
“We hope those at ESPN will actively voice disdain for Mr. Smith’s inappropriate statement and take the proper action to support those that are fighting this disease,” Zangeneh adds. See footage of the comment in question below, as well as the full statement.
— LAMAR ODOM (@RealLamarOdom) June 23, 2017