The bleak and harrowing essay is titled “Done in the Dark.”
Lamar Odom has often been portrayed as a pitiful character. The two-time NBA champion is known more for his dramatic flameout from the league than for his time in it. He’s known for overdosing at a Nevada brothel, teetering on the verge of death. And in between those two events, he was a reality TV star by virtue of marrying into the Kardashian clan.
He’s evoked very little sympathy from the sports world, but few have heard him speak. Now, he’s sharing his experiences good and bad (but mostly bad) in a confessional piece penned in The Players’ Tribune. It’s aptly titled “Done in the Dark,” and the first-person retrospective is a matter-of-fact, verging on stream-of-consciousness look back on the loss of his son, addiction, recovery, relapse, wasted opportunity, and his journey toward redemption.
The piece covers a lot of ground, yet he doesn’t ask for pity. Odom’s goal appears to be providing context for the trouble he found himself in. He writes:
“When you’re an addict, nothing can get through to you. I never thought I was going to die. I never thought I’d be in a coma. I didn’t think I had a problem. But then I woke up in a bed with tubes coming out of my mouth — and it was real.
The doctors told me that right before I woke up from the coma, my kids had come by to see me. And that broke my heart, because I had seen my own mother on her deathbed, with tubes coming out of her mouth.”
His stories are sensational, but his tone isn’t.
"Pretty much every second of free time that I had, I was doing coke." Lamar Odom opens up in The Player's Tribune: https://t.co/2NlMqsSqME— ESPN (@ESPN)1501175477.0
Odom’s days in the NBA are long behind him, and with no standing tie to the Kardashians, so too are his days of being a tabloid spectacle. Well … almost.
Addiction is never truly behind a person, but Lamar comes across in the frank letter as a man coming to terms with his addiction and his life. That clarity and honesty don't guarantee recovery or happiness, but it does serve to inform others of the dangers he succumbed to and allows him to confront his past so he can look ahead.