NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 05: NBA player Lamar Odom arrives to attend a custody hearing with ex-girlfriend Liza Morales at New York State Supreme Court on March 5, 2013 in New York City. Morales is the mother of Lamar’s nine-year old daughter and five-year old son. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Sports fans know Lamar Odom for his basketball prowess. Those who follow the Kardashian universe only know Lamar for being married to Khloe. And while the story of Odom clinging to life after being found unconscious in a Nevada brothel is extremely sad, it appears the Kardashian universe is taking the lead on the story, leaking his condition and his treatment to TMZ.

It’s troubling to see how this story is being treated by the entertainment media, but at the same time, the E!’s and the TMZ’s identify Odom as part of the Kardashians. For sports fans, it’s sad to see Odom’s basketball career in college at the University of Rhode Island and then in the NBA with the Clippers and then the Lakers is being minimized.

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt is hoping to take back that story and had this commentary on SportsCenter Wednesday calling out the entertainment media and reminding us of his NBA career:

Van Pelt’s best words in his commentary were as follows:

I have to remind myself there are people who think of Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith as ‘those guys who were on Dancing With the Stars.’ Not everybody views things through the prism of sports the way I do, and I presume you do as well, given that you’re watching this show. I mean, those are two of the best who ever played football, but if you frame things from the People Magazine perspective, it’s a different world.

…..Everyone across the league, it seems, loves the man. To read the tweets from the stars still in the league was to feel genuine anguish for a brother who has had an unspeakably difficult road, and who has struggled mightily to find his footing, post-NBA. “Passed out in a brothel” makes for a hell of a headline, and I’m sure quite a juicy episode of TV, but stripped to the foundation, it’s just incredibly sad. All of it. A man who’s dealt with so much loss, unable to find his way, who’s unfortunate reality becomes a plot line in alleged reality.

I understand not everyone watches sports, but ‘Kardashian reality star?’ His name is Lamar Odom, and we knew it, long before he got married on a TV show that we don’t watch.

Here’s hoping Odom fully recovers and is back on his feet soon.

[Video courtesy @cjzero]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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