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“His name is Lamar Odom, and we knew him long before he got married, on a TV show that we don’t watch.”

A quote that sums this story up perfectly. Whether you like him or not, Lamar Odom is still a brother of the basketball fraternity, he is an two-time NBA champion, a former Sixth Man of the Year award winner and a FIBA World Cup gold medallist, who is currently fighting for his life in a Las Vegas hospital after taking a cocaine overdose in a brothel over the weekend.

This is the unfortunate result of a glittering sports career, ruined by so-called reality TV and a divorce that received far more attention then any other break up.

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Yes, he married a Kardashian and thus appeared on numerous “reality” TV shows but Odom’s success and fame was earned, not given like his ex-wife Khloe Kardashian’s was.

And now, because Odom got married to a Kardashian, the title of “professional basketball player” or “NBA champion” isn’t worthy or attractive enough. This Rhode Island standout who was recognised on the court as a fierce competitor who could shoot, rebound and defend has to be known as “the ex-husband of Khloe Kardashian”.

Reports that begin with, “Khloe Kardashian’s former lover Lamar Odom” or “ex-reality television star, Lamar Odom…” is just plain insulting to a man that has contributed far more to this world then any of the Kardashian girls put together.

For me personally, I have always been a fan of Odom, not the biggest, but I respected him a great deal. I had the pleasure of interviewing him a few times in Istanbul in 2010 and remember what he was like on the court in person.

With that said, if you haven’t watched this fantastic SportsCenter segment from ESPN reporter Scott Van Pelt, I and all of the basketball family suggest that you do.