Former NBA player Lamar Odom threatens legal action against ESPN

By Michael Dixon

Former NBA player Lamar Odom is unhappy with ESPN, specifically Stephen A. Smith, for the way that he was portrayed First Take.

Smith was discussing New York Knicks president Phil Jackson and mentioned that Jackson’s first move as an executive was signing Lamar Odom, before emphatically stating that Odom “was on crack.” On Friday, attorney Saam Zangeneh wrote a letter (which was published on Odom’s Twitter page) to ESPN asking for the network to denounce Smith’s comments.

At the very least, Smith’s wording could have been a lot better.

Smith has made a very good living speaking and is certainly not inexperienced with formats like this. Making the point is one thing. But wording it in a more artful way is at best, insensitive.

As Mr. Zangeneh detailed, drug addiction is a very serious thing and is dealt with by many people. Smith certainly could have done a better job identifying that and wording it in a better way. As a society, it often seems that we try too hard to be offended. But in this case, the frustration of Odom and his attorney is well founded.