Stephen A Smith Takes Shot At Lamar Odom While Ranting About Phil Jackson – Odom Fires Back

Photo Credit: Chris Carlson/AP Photo

Stephen A Smith Takes Shot At Lamar Odom While Ranting About Phil Jackson – Odom Fires Back


On ESPN’s First Take Stephen A Smith ranted about Phil Jackson as a president of the New York Knicks, rightfully so. But he took things too far, when he said that Jackson’s first action as Knicks president, was signing Lamar Odom, who “was on crack”.


“The stuff that this man has done since he has been the executive of the New York Knicks. His very first move as the executive was to sign Lamar Odom, who was on crack!”



After Smith included Odom while also taking a shot at him, he said “I love Lamar Odom the person, and God bless him. We’re wishing nothing but the best…”

But the damage was done. Lamar Odom tweeted a letter his lawyer wrote to ESPN, in response to Smith’s comments, denying Odom was on drugs when he joined the Knicks. But the main verdict of his letter is that Odom isn’t happy with Smith’s statement.


“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 Mr. Smith chose to jokingly disparage Lamar for having a disease,” he wrote. “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. 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.”



On October 13, 2015, Odom was hospitalized and placed into an induced coma for more than two weeks after he was found unconscious at a legal brothel in Nevada. Odom also suffered kidney failure, 12 strokes and two heart-attacks during the incident.

The former No. 4 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft last played in the league for the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2012-13 season. Odom is a 14-year veteran, one-time Sixth Man of the Year winner and two-time champion.

Smith responded to Odom’s complaint saying:


“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.”


I’m glad Lamar is finding his way back…

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