ESPN's Scott Van Pelt defends Lamar Odom as more than a reality TV star in powerful segment

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt came to the defence of Lamar Odom in a powerful segment on Sportscenter Wednesday night.

Odom is fighting for his life in a Nevada hospital, after being found unconscious in a brothel with several types of drugs in his system.

In the wake of the news, many outlets have referred to Odom as a reality TV star after he got married to Khloe Kardashian and starred on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and their own spinoff, “Khloe and Lamar.”

On Wednesday, this seemed to irk Van Pelt, who noted not everyone views the world through the prism of sports, but said Odom was much more than a “Kardashian reality star.”

“Kardashian reality star? No, no, no, no,” Van Pelt began. “Lamar Odom, unlike those for whom fame is oxygen, whose fame comes in the absence of accomplishment, his fame was earned. As Sixth Man of the Year, as a multiple NBA champion, as the result of a significant role with the Los Angeles Lakers, as being a beloved NBA teammate and peer.”

“Everyone across the league, it seems, loves the man.”

Lamar Odom Mitch KupchakHarry How/GettyLamar Odom won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award in 2011.

Van Pelt noted how players and coaches around the league have sent Odom well-wishes and prayers, including Kobe Bryant, who left a preseason game early to see Odom in the hospital.

“‘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,” Van Pelt continued. “A man who’s dealt with so much loss unable to find his way, whose unfortunate reality becomes a plotline 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 we don’t watch.”

Watch the entire segment below:


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