ESPN admits Stephen A. Smith’s drug addiction remarks about Lamar Odom was inappropriate.
The sports network’s acknowledgment comes after Odom’s attorney asked that it denounces Smith’s statements said on First Take.
“We take to heart the points made in your letter and agree with you about the sensitivities around the disease of drug addiction,” wrote Diane M. Morse, ESPN’s lawyer.
— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) July 19, 2017
“We have spoken with Mr. Smith about it. We wish Mr. Odom well and commend him for his work in the rehab community.”
Last month, Smith boisterously blasted Phil Jackson’s poor executive decisions as president of the New York Knicks. To back his claims, Smith cited Odom’s singing at the end of the 2013-14 season.
“His very first move as the executive was to sign Lamar Odom… who was on crack!” Smith said several times on First Take.
Odom was displeased with the remarks and took to Twitter to air his grievances. He tweeted a photo of a letter his lawyer, Saam Zangeneh, sent to ESPN asking the network to “actively voice their disdain for Mr. Smith’s inappropriate statement.”
— LAMAR ODOM (@RealLamarOdom) June 23, 2017
Odom, 37, has spoken openly about his struggles with drug addiction. The former Los Angeles Lakers forward revealed in an interview with Us Weekly that he did drugs while married to reality star Khloe Kardashian. Their divorce was finalized last year.
“I was hiding it for a while, but then I got frustrated and was like, ‘[Expletive] it.’ Around two years before we split up [in December 2013], I was in the man cave she had made for me and she caught me. She was disappointed,” he said.
He continued, “She knew I was doing cocaine the whole time after that. It was my drug of choice. I’m not going to say she accepted it because that would be the wrong word. Tolerated would be a better word.”
Odom is said to be working on a tell-all book about his life, including inclusion into the Kardashian family.