At This Point, Lamar Odom Deserves More Than To Be Written Off

[Los Angeles Times]

Lamar Odom

In the wake of recent events, it would be easy to dismiss Lamar Odom.

Nice pro basketball career. Got 14 years out of it, 12 of those in Los Angeles with either the Clippers or Lakers. Made millions, screwed up in the end, so it is over. See ya.

We tend to find these stories all too familiar, and their familiarity nudges our cynicism. Tall kid plays basketball so well it gets him out of a tough neighborhood. His dad is a heroin addict, mom dies of cancer when he is 12. Basketball and the people hanging around him as he becomes a star — some with genuine concerns for him and others with genuine desire to profit from him — become his family.

As he gets taller, en route to 6 feet 10, and his basketball skills get larger too, he keeps getting into messes. Still, the incredible basketball skills warrant him second chance after second chance.

With Odom, the “second chances” count goes into double figures.

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