Stephen A. Smith Forced To Apologize To Lamar Odom For Bringing Up His Crack Addiction
It’s not often Stephen A. Smith has to retract and apologize for anything he says, but on Friday, he had to do just that after he used Lamar Odom’s crack addiction to make a point about Phil Jackson.
A letter from Lamar Odom’s lawyer, tweeted Friday by Odom with the hashtag “#slander,” ripped ESPN and Stephen A. Smith for making light of his addiction.
“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.”
“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.”
Zangeneh continued, “We hope those at ESPN will actively voice their disdain for Mr. Smith’s inappropriate statement and take the proper action to support those that are fighting this disease.”
“We should hope that your network would use this situation as an opportunity to become more actively involved in this cause.”
— LAMAR ODOM (@RealLamarOdom) June 23, 2017
Smith released an apology to Deadspin claiming that Odom “was not the target of (his) ire.”
“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.