(updated to reflect the latest developments)
Lamar Odom was found unconscious inside a Las Vegas brothel this afternoon and was transported to a local hospital. He was then taken to a hospital in Las Vegas.
This was the statement from the Nye County Sherrif Dept:
“At approximately 3:15 p.m. on October 13, 2015 a call came into the Nye County Dispatch Center from Richard Hunter, Media Director for Dennis Hof’s Bunny Ranch, requesting an ambulance for an unresponsive male experiencing a medical emergency at the Love Ranch in Crystal, Nevada.
An ambulance from Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Service arrived at 3:34 p.m. and the patient, identified as Lamar Odom was stabilized and transported to Desert View Hospital arriving at 4:16 p.m.
After being treated by the physicians, arrangements were made to transport him by Mercy Air Helicopter. However, Mr Odom was unable to be transported by air due to his stature. He was immediately transported by Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Ambulance to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada for further treatment.”
It’s been a stressful two years in the post-retirement career of Lamar Odom as he became a cautionary tale, the ex-athlete who struggled in public, all of his wounds visible for the world to see. Unable and unsuccessful at navigating a healthy lifestyle after he gave up his career, addiction issues, marital discord, weight gain and the day-to-day ups and downs of living had reshaped the Lamar Odom who was a much loved Los Angeles Laker figure, a key component in their championship era.
Lamar Odom retired and he missed the very thing he was walking away from. He missed basketball. He missed and needed its structure. He missed and needed its discipline. He missed and needed his teammates.
Odom was arrested on August 30, 2013 for driving under the influence to which he was sentenced to probation and alcohol abuse treatment. Since then his life has been splashed all over tabloids, the price for being a celebrity, for having a Kardashian as a wife, for living in L.A., for being a part of the club scene, for being remembered for what he used to do once upon a time, for being pitied in some circles and prayed for in others.
This part of Odom’s life hardly resembles what came before it when he was a crucial piece of a championship team, a 6-10 forward who could dribble the ball up court, find the open man, finish in the lane (though he always went left), rebound, drain a three point shot. He was a great teammate who everyone loved and so it’s especially tragic what has happened to him these last two years.
Tragedy has always been part of the Lamar Odom narrative. His father was a heroin addict. His mother died of colon cancer. He was raised by his grandmother and when she passed away it was a huge blow for Odom, shaking his foundation. Odom lost his son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. He was a passenger in a limousine when the limo driver hit a motorcycle, that motorcycle hit a 15 year old Queens boy; the boy died. Odom was devastated all over again. As he once put it, “death surrounds me.”
In his basketball life, there was something about Odom that drew people to him. He wore his emotions and his pain and his vulnerability and his humor and his kindness on his sleeve. He felt things so deeply that it affected him in ways he just couldn’t shake.
Odom was a lottery pick drafted by the Clippers in 1999. Desperate to escape Donald Sterling after his required service was up, Odom left the Clippers as a free agent and signed with the Miami Heat and had a great year playing for Pat Riley. Odom was traded to the Lakers in the Shaquille O’Neal deal and played his best basketball under Phil Jackson who challenged Odom to be the point man in the Triangle offense. He won titles in 2009 and 2010 and was Sixth Man of the Year in 2011.
Odom’s ex-wife Khloe Kardashian and her family rushed to Las Vegas to be by his side as he fights to regain consciousness.
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Update: Wednesday, October 14th.
Lamar Odom had been using cocaine before his Saturday visit to the brothel. The brothel has a no-drugs policy and employees are to stop all activities if drugs are present. No drugs were found on Odom once the sheriff arrived. However Odom had taken 10 herbal sexual performance supplement tablets over a three day period that he purchased at the brothel. He also had been drinking cognac.
“There’s blood coming out of his nose and white stuff coming out of his mouth”, a brothel employee told 911 dispatchers.
The length of time that Odom was unconscious, coupled with oxygen loss has led to speculation of possible brain damage. He had at least one stroke, according to a hospital source. He is on life support and is not conscious. He was visited on Tuesday night by Kobe Bryant and Mitch Kupchak of the Los Angeles Lakers. He was visited on Wednesday by Rev. Jesse Jackson. Khloe Kardashian is making all the medical decisions on Odom’s behalf because the divorce is not yet final. His father and his two children are with him at the hospital.
photo via Wikimedia.org