Mavs Donuts: Why Are We Complicating Lamar Odom Observations?

Mavs Donuts: Why Are We Complicating Our Lamar Odom Observations?

DONUT 1: Odom Update

Here is the L.A. Times' summary of what we know regarding the latest on Lamar Odom's hospitalization

The long-time NBA player and former member of the Dallas Mavericks -- a stint that counts among this franchise's lowest points -- was partying in at a Las Vegas-area brothel and had taken cocaine and 10 doses of a Viagra-like medication before losing consciousness, law-enforcement officials say.

A woman's call to 911 reported this:

“They need to hurry, please, because he’s got blood coming out of his nose, white stuff coming out of his mouth. We can't get him to wake up. He’s, like, almost not breathing.”

DONUT 2: The prayers

And now, at we watch ... rubber-necking, no doubt, because that's part of what we do, but praying (or hoping for the best) for Odom, too, because that's also what we do ... We are being instructed as to how we should reflect on Odom's once-fine career, which went very south in Dallas and has spiraled downward -- and has done so via rubber-necking that Lamar himself invited us all to do because he profited financially from us doing so through his decision to attach himself to the Kardashians, to televise his marriage to Khloe, and to even capitalize on his struggles, all for the sake of celebrity.

Why isn't it OK for me to discuss and detail his failings while also  praying for the best as he is in serious peril?

DONUT 3: Van Pelt's piece

On Wednesday, the very thoughtful Scott Van Pelt took to ESPN to insist it's wrong to refer to Odom as a “Kardashian reality star.”

“Kardashian reality star? No, no, no, no,” Van Pelt said. “Lamar Odom, unlike those for whom fame is oxygen, whose fame comes in the absence of accomplishment, his fame was earned. As Sixth Man of the Year, as a multiple NBA champion, as the result of a significant role with the Los Angeles Lakers, as being a beloved NBA teammate and peer.”

“‘Passed out in a brothel’ makes for a hell of a headline and I’m sure quite a juicy episode of TV, but stripped to the foundation, it’s just incredibly sad,” Van Pelt said. “A man who’s dealt with so much loss unable to find his way, whose unfortunate reality becomes a plotline in alleged reality.”

“I understand not everyone watches sports, but ‘Kardashian reality star?’ His name is Lamar Odom, and we knew it, long before he got married on a TV show we don’t watch.”

Van Pelt's views are heartfelt, and worthy of respect. But that doesn't mean he's right on every count. And the fact that Odom has brought this particular tragedy on himself doesn't suddenly make him more "beloved'' than he was before all the trouble.

DONUT 4: 'Kardashian Reality Star'?

 Van Pelt seems offended by the above phrase. But Odom has never seemed offended at all. He married into the Kardashian family and volunteered to put his life on TV for the precise purpose of pursuing the same exact fame and fortune Van Pelt thinks it unseemly to mention.

                            

When Scott says, “I understand not everyone watches sports, but ... His name is Lamar Odom, and we knew it, long before he got married on a TV show we don’t watch,'' he's making it sound as those who follow the Kardashians are the ones in the weird bubble.

But in fact, those who follow the Kardashians think you and I and Van Pelt, as obsessed with sports as Kardashian fans are with that family, are the ones in the weird bubble.

Why is "Kardashian reality star'' a less dignified label than "Lakers sixth man''? Who says so? Who makes this rule?

DONUT 5: An uncomplicated look

For an uncomplicated look at a complicated man, I give you my 1-on-1 visit with him from 2012 on the subject of him having buried a baby ... and how I understand the feeling.

In this column, I look at whether the fact that he's had difficult times mean it's acceptable for Lamar Odom to be a bad teammate and a malingerer.

As you can imagine, I do not find it to be acceptable.

DONUT 6: The Maverick Bar

College football, the NFL and the Cowboys all weekend. Plus live music, 80 beer choices and the best burgers in DFW. Oh, and our love for the Mavs is on display, too, of course! It's The Maverick Bar at 1616 Hebron in Carrollton and we'd love to see you there this weekend!

         

Join us!

DONUT 7: Universally beloved?

“Everyone across the league, it seems, loves the man.”

That's what Scott Van Pelt says about Lamar Odom. That is, quite simply, untrue. If he was universally beloved, the Lakers wouldn't have dumped him on Dallas. If he was universally beloved, the Mavs wouldn't have found him to be so poisonous in their locker room, eventually unable to bear his lack of effort, resulting in the Mavs simply ordering Lamar to stay away from their gym.

DONUT 8: The Human Phenomenon

 What is really happening with the perception of Lamar Odom right now is revisionist stuff, and we all do it for virtually anyone who falls this ill. We see it at eulogies at funerals, where the "dear departed'' is praised almost beyond recognition because ... well, it's the classy thing to do. It's the humane thing to do.

Lamar Odom Mitch Kupchak

It's a phenomenon that accentuates the highs and  camouflages the lows and paints a gorgeous picture of the deceased ... whether he or she was actually gorgeous or not.

DONUT 9: Stay in Touch

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Follow our gang on Twitter: Zack CunninghamJohnny AupingChuck CoopersteinMatt GalatzanSkin Wade and me at FishSports  .. 
                 
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DONUT 10: The $100 Mil Deal
The Kardashian family has built an empire based on exposing itself on television. Their shows are not my cup of tea any more than they are Scott Van Pelt's. But they are decidedly the cup of tea of Lamar Odom and Kanye West and everyone else who signs on to become part of the clan. The Kardashians reportedly signed a $100-million deal this summer with E! to continue filming Keeping Up With The Kardashians for another four years. 

 

 
The Kardashians do this for a living.  Lamar does this for a living. It may be instructive to note that while Khloe and Lamar are no longer "together'' -- she's now dating Rockets star James Harden, and he, too, certainly knows exactly what he's getting into and why he's getting into it -- Khloe and Lamar remain married. As meaningless as it is at this moment, their relationship has been a financial windfall for Odom, figures to be the same for Harden, and again, is part and parcel with signing on with the Kardashians.
You don't just have a marriage contract; you also essentially sign a contract to be a "reality star,'' no matter how deplorable some might find that term to be.
One more example of this: Reportedly, if Kim Kardashian can convince her husband Kanye to appear on this year's show, she will be able to supplement her personal payment from The E! Network of $20 million with a bonus of $5 million.
If Kim and Kanye need a quick $5 mil, he simply appears on camera. He signed on for exactly this ... just as in one form or another Harden and Odom and Miles Austin and Reggie Bush and other pro athletes have done. Indeed, last year when Chandler Parsons (who clearly has entertainment/fashion interests that go beyond hoops) allowed himself to be connected with Kardashian daughter Kendall Jenner, I bet you he did so knowing full-well that is was about more than romance.
A bit later, when CP was called upon to explain his "date,'' he said, "It's kind of a long story. I train with Gunnar Peterson here in L.A. She works out before me, so I kind of just got to know her, and then we had dinner. And the next thing I know I was on TMZ.''
                                                 
And to whom did Chandler grant this interview? The show "Chelsea Lately.'' Which appears on ... 
The E! Network.
DONUT 11: Dez's wisdom

A great illustration of our role in unnecessarily complicating our observations on Lamar Odom's situation comes from our guy Dez Bryant:

https://twitter.com/CowboysNation/status/654464565598683136

Dez has this Human Phenomenon nailed. Suddenly, Odom is a better person than maybe he's truly been, suddenly Odom has people pretending to care more about him than they ever truly did, and always, we should probably concern ourselves more with our own problems than we do with celebrities, whether you think of that celebrity via the prism of "Lakers star'' or "Kardashian star.''

Because he is both.

DONUT 12: The Final Word

"I will never, ever not love Lamar. "I was so obsessed with him in a healthy way. He was my husband, and I still wish he was." - Khloe Kardashian, who as his wife is in charge of his medical decisions, in a statement issued via ... 

The E! Network.


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