After a three-day drug binge at the Love Ranch brothel in Las Vegas, Lamar Odom has surfaced from a coma and is making progress as he remains hospitalized after reportedly overdosing on cocaine, crack cocaine, and opiates. The former NBA superstar is also married to Khloe Kardashian. And, right there, you unfortunately have the makings for a sensational media circus that have advertisers of television shows and celebrity tabloids fighting and salivating for prime ad slots. Because of your high-profile status, you have managed to draw hordes of ratings-hungry media companies as close to your hospital bedside as possible. You are now front-page material.
But there’s just one thing that’s missing from the spectacle you’ve created: We’re waiting to see if all 6’10” of you will truly show us just how big you really are. We loved you on the court. You were a stand-out player worthy of Hall-of-Fame distinction. We want you healthy. We want you alive. But there is something surrounding you that is very wrong. And the ball, so to speak, is in your court.
Lamar, when you finally find the energy to give that first press conference, all you need to do is read this press release that I’ve taken the liberty to prepare. You want to rise from the ashes of that crack cocaine? Here’s your chance…
My name is Lamar Odom. I’m not a bad person. But during the past week, I made some bad choices. I dug a selfish hole. I sincerely thank you for your prayers, but there are many, many people far more deserving of prayers than I.
Stop writing stories about my recovery and the Kardashians. This is an embarrassment to America.
Start praying for the families of Forrest B. Sibley, Matthew D. Roland, Peter A. McKenna, Jr., Krissie K. Davis, John M. Dawson, Wyatt J. Martin, Ramon S. Morris, Matthew R. Ammerman, Joseph W. Riley, Wardell B. Turner, Michael A. Cathcart, Stephan Byus, Michael J. Donahue, Charles C. Strong, and Brian K. Arsenault. They were all US soldiers who were killed by hostile fire in Afghanistan. Time does not permit me to name 2,271 US soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty. None of them were doing coke for three days straight. None of them felt like they were larger than life. None of them were ever given the chance to recover from their fatal wounds.
And then there are the wounded. The thousands of soldiers who were flown home with missing eyes and ears. Soldiers whose arms and legs were blown to pieces from the shrapnel of hand grenades. Some were lucky and only lost a foot. Others not so fortunate and had their legs amputated at the hips. They are the untold stories of soldiers who had to endure injuries sustained from fire. Burn victims whose faces are severely scarred for life. Unsightly disfigured. And, yet, in their favor, they are all alive, making remarkable recoveries that will allow them to watch their children play ball, sing in the choir, or give them sound parental advice someday. And where were you to report of their recoveries? How is it even possible that my story can compare? There is something very wrong here.
And therein lies the American embarrassment: Our media does not give daily updates on their recoveries on a national level as they do mine. They should be the lead story. My story should be nothing more than an admission of my wrongdoing, and a plea to give attention to those who are truly worthy.
There is no honor in my plight, but there is plenty in the soldier having to relearn how to walk.
And there, my friends, is your story.
Copyright Ros Hill 2015