Read the scathing letter from Odom's lawyer.
Lamar Odom's lawyer has issued a letter to ESPN following First Take host Stephen A. Smith's joke about the former NBA star's crack abuse. Smith's comments came as a criticism of Knicks' president Phil Jackson on his show Thursday. "I love Lamar Odom the person, and God bless him and we’re wishing nothing but the best," he said. "But, metaphorically speaking, [Jackson's] first move as the executive of the New York Knicks was to sign Lamar Odom, who was on crack!"
On Friday, Odom shared a letter from his lawyer, Saam Zangeneh, on Twitter. The letter criticized Smith's use of a "vulgar joke" about addiction, which he points out is a "chronic brain disease."
"Let’s put aside the fact that Lamar passed all the required physicals and medical tests necessary to play in the league," the letter reads. "Let us look at what this statement does, not only to Lamar, but to any and all professional athletes that are struggling with addiction."
After suggesting that Lamar has been "actively working within the addiction community" since his release from hospital after a near-fatal overdose in October 2015, the letter calls for the network to make a statement regarding the inappropriate remarks from Smith. "We hope that 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," says Zangeneh. "We would hope that your network would use this situation as an opportunity to become more actively involved in this case."
ESPN and Stephen A. Smith have yet to respond to the letter.