Culver City Observer -

The Lamar Odom You Might Not Know

 

November 5, 2015



By Bosmat Eynav

Sports Columnist

Lamar – mi amore

On days like this with Lamar fighting for his health and the media unfortunately continues to apply its destructive forces,

I wanted to show from a more constructive perspective what a special personality and delicate soul resides within Lamar Odom and

to try to understand the bigger picture behind the painful life experience that Lamar is going through these days.

The first interview I've ever watched with Lamar was conducted by Ralph Lawler, and left a huge impression for me -

for the first time I saw a player talking about his feelings and and exposing with so much sincerity the emotional breakdown that he's been through.

I was amazed to discover how he was able to remove the shield of a tough NBA player and expose a gentle spirit, so real. so frank and so human, and how he shared details about his emotional crisis with the fans.

I believe that by doing this Lamar serves as a role model for his fans, showing that even a strong NBA player can be vulnerable. I remember I was fascinated by this interview and felt that Lamar's personality is so unique and that his courage and kindness are exceptional.

As a young reporter who joined the Observer in 2012 I had the right to interview Lamar. Because my job description is to write about the physical and emotional well being of the players, unlike a standard sports reporter, I chose to interview Lamar about the injury he suffered in 2011, and the rehabilitation he has gone through with hydrotherapy.

The sensitivity that he showed toward me as a young reporter, Israeli, with English as my second language was very moving, and it only enhanced my appreciation of the gentle soul that lives behind the tough player facade.

At the age of 12 Lamar lost his mother and was raised by his grandmother while witnessing his dad's heroin addiction. A child who had to grow up without loving parents by his side, who lost his best friend to drug overdose and his close cousin to a gunshot, who later lost his baby son to sudden infant death syndrome, and that his marriage failed on a public stage. In his young life, Lamar had to face so much loss and death, and despite all that pain he persevered and built his career as a professional player who reached two championships, the Olympics , and an average of 17 points per game, and most importantly, Lamar did his best to "be nice to everybody" like his mom asked him to before she passed away.

And all this, let me remind you dear readers, without a comforting mother's hug, without a father who had his back and gave him confidence, without the basic coping skill that most of us receive at a young age so we can endure difficult times.

The way I see it, Lamar found a way to escape from his struggles, a very destructive unacceptable and unfortunate way to run away from pain. Considering those terrible experiences and shocks that he absorbed from life, and the difficult background he came from, it's been amazing to watch him being a great player and a good person trying to do his best.

It's not easy to be a gentle soul in this world and to remain heart-centered, It's not easy to cope with the media and its high demands, and with the demands of a life with an image of a tough, successful, 'fighter' NBA player, while at the same time coping with terrible losses and hurtful media.

It's not simple to be a man of truth, connected to his heart in an environment with so much ego and so many lies. With media that just awaits your stumble to jump in with a lynch. Such a destructive and hurtful environment can drive a person to very dark places within himself and push him to wanting to run away.

The way I see it, Lamar is a victim of the system. A gentle soul who did not receive real acceptance and support. Someone who has not experienced unconditional love and unfortunately did not acquire life skills and tools that would help him cope with the pain, loneliness and darkness.

So he ran away from the pain and tried to numb it with drugs and prostitutes. He ran away because he couldn't cope, he escaped and broke the rules, he did not act as a professional player should, and still, he is human and he can be forgiven.

When I heard about what was going on with Lamar I was so saddened, all I wanted to do was to hold him and to tell him that I love him and there are many more who do, and we all wish that he can overcome and find his inner strength to cross this Tsunami wave.

I understand what led you to hit rock bottom, but deep inside you have a good heart and you are a sweetheart, so caring, real, honest and sensitive.

You are very strong and a real star! My hope is that many, like me, will see the good in you and pray for the healing of your heart and soul. And I'll close with a Shakespeare quote:

"The quality of mercy, is like the gentle rain that falls from heaven."

 

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