COMMENTARY | Lamar Odom and the Los Angeles Lakers enjoyed incredible success with one another, and now that the player is going through one of the most difficult times in his life, his Lakers brethren are speaking out in support of him.
The latest reports of the former Sixth Man of the Year potentially abusing drugs is especially disturbing, especially to the extended Lakers family. Magic Johnson and Phil Jackson each took to Twitter on Monday to share their thoughts on the matter, which is developing into one of the most unsettling stories of the offseason for any Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers or basketball fan:
"I hope my man and former Laker, Lamar Odom is doing okay."
Hours later, Phil Jackson echoed the same sentiment, retweeting Johnson and adding, "Double Ditto, LO."
Like everyone, they're concerned for his well-being and likely don't know what to make of all the reports floating about cyberspace. TMZ Sports had the initial report that it was drugs, not marital issues alone, keeping Odom off the court and stuck in free-agent limbo. As time passed, the details were as ugly and disturbing as they were unbelievable.
Added reports elaborated on the types of drugs he was taking -- Radar Online reported crack cocaine, Ambien and OxyContin were the substances. No matter what they were, it's a situation where everyone can unite in the principle that taking care of Lamar the person is the only thing that matters.
This goes beyond basketball. Odom is one of the best people in the NBA. Anyone he's come into contact with has unequivocally said the same thing. He's a humble player with incredible gifts, and it would be a shame to see things end badly for him. That's especially true considering how he shed his early demons related to drugs that he had as a young player with the Los Angeles Clippers. He put those behind him and truly blossomed during his second stint in Los Angeles with the Lakers, culminating with two NBA titles and the Sixth Man Award in 2011.
Hopefully, his friends will continue to reach out, and he'll understand how much everyone cares about him. Basketball is secondary at this point, and as I wrote before, getting his life in order needs to be priority No. 1.
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Michael C. Jones is a Southern California-based journalist and the 2012 Contributor of the Year. He is the editor of Sports Out West and contributes regularly to SB Nation in addition to Yahoo! Sports.
- Sports & Recreation
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Lamar Odom
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Magic Johnson
- Phil Jackson