Lamar Odem

Dropping the Ball

Just imagine. All of your hard work and dedication has led you to win your second NBA finals. A year prior, you married a woman from one of the most prestigious families in America. Life could never be better. Then…you fall.

With this fall you find yourself waking up in the hospital with no recollection of how you got there. You’ve been there for days. Upon the arrival of your close family and friends you realize the worst has happened. You’ve just suffered from the effects of an overdose.

The jarring feeling of turmoil and disappointment wash over you. You hear words like “cocaine” and “brothel” being tossed around regarding the previous night leading to this dismal day. This feeling is what NBA Laker’s basketball superstar Lamar Odom felt after waking up in a Nevada Hospital on October 15, 2015.

With his memory blurred, Lamar needed facts about what happened that night. “Ischemic Stroke” is the word the medical examiners used. This stroke is known for causing blot clots that prevent blood flow to the brain. This deadly condition can only be caused by the excessive cocaine usage. The word “cocaine” left a bitter sting that pierced his every breath. In that moment, Lamar realized that his visit to the Nevada Brothel would change him forever.

Getting into Lamar’s head, one must wonder the barrage of frightening thoughts that raced through his mind.

There must have been an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty for Lamar’s future, as things began to spiral in a direction he was never prepared for. Even after his brief DUI incident back in 2009, Lamar knew he was treading in dangerous waters. These waters would eventually cause his wife, Khloe Kardashian, to dive back into Lamar’s pool of tragedy. She would then have to help set him on the road to recovery. 

First Steps…

After this life changing incident that left Lamar in a state of grief, he, along with wife Khloe Kardashian, decided to call off their previously announced divorce. According to Khloe, the decision was purely out the regards for Lamar’s health and recovery.

[Photo: AP/NPX/STAR MAX/IPx]
She felt she had to help him in some way. She explained that no past reconciliation had occurred but she was simply moved emotionally to help Lamar make medical decisions during his recovery process. Khloe wanted to help Lamar seize his integrity and ultimately, his life.

Gravity…

The word “gravity” can easily describe the heaviness of the thoughts that swirled through Lamar’s mind as he started his journey towards recovery. Stuck within the confines of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Lamar was left to face the heartbreaking consequences of his actions. The gravity of that night in Nevada began to weigh down his recovery, as simple tasks like swallowing and moving his hands were like mountains. The thought of playing basketball again seemed to be a light at end of an unreachable tunnel.

[Photo: AP/Michael Conroy]
Unable to put together simple sentences, Lamar’s life hinged on every breath that circulated though his now necessary oxygen mask. Words like “recovery” seemed to be a far off hope that would continue to stir the hearts of Khloe and his loved ones. With every ounce of progress came a setback of physical pain and anguish. Heavy phases like “brain damage” and “parallelization” began to float through the air engulfing Lamar’s life-changing medical status.

With little options left, Lamar had no choice but to make a change. As time passed he realized he would have to continue fighting with every ounce he had in order to recover. The ball was in Lamar’s court…It was time to for him to jump back in the game.  

Slowly but Surely…

With every story comes a silver lining; could Lamar Odom find his?

Nothing but good reports followed Lamar as he was finally released from the hospital in January 2017. He found himself moving back to Calabasas, California, in a desperate attempt for redemption. Checking in to a private 30-day rehabilitation center in San Diego, California, in December 2016, Lamar wanted to make sure his miraculous recovery would leave no room for a relapse. After his tragic but life changing incident, he decided to attack his rehabilitation with full stride.

With the drive to move past the dark days of his fatal overdose, Lamar continued the stride to full recovery. But life threw him another setback that appeared in the form of drinking, adding to his never-ending fight with sobriety. Lamar found himself in a bar in Sherman Oaks, California, and while his actions at the bar brought no life-threatening or physical scares; Lamar’s presence in the bar found him on the fence with his biggest fan – Khloe Kardashian. “A slap to the face” – Khloe described Lamar’s bar actions. In the back of her mind maybe she worried…could he fall back?

With reports stating Lamar was seen drinking at an L.A. bar, his health and rehabilitation coaches were ready to whisk in and help him stay on the straight and narrow. With help and continual support from Khloe and his family, Lamar felt he could finally see the light. After his many stumbles and falls, this rehabilitation was the key to his physical and mental salvation.

As the final days of his 30-day rehabilitation process approached in January 2017, the feeling of indescribable satisfaction washed over Lamar Odom’s body. Nothing but smiles reflected off his face as Lamar left the rehabilitation center. Confronted with the glistening cameras of paparazzi he was ready to embrace his future.

With a planned interview from Dr. Stork set to air on January 17, Lamar is nothing but optimistic. He’s ready to share his journey with the world.

[Feature Photo: AP/Mark J. Terrill]