Lamar Odom is best known outside of basketball because of his marriage with Khloé Kardashian. The former LA Lakers man, who was hospitalized last week after being found unconscious at a legal brothel outside of Las Vegas, has steadily been recuperating while his high-profile friends, ex-lovers, and teammates, have all managed to gather by his side in the last few days to bid him a swift recovery.
On Friday, there were reports about Lamar Odom gaining consciousness and talking to his kids, father, and now estranged wife Khloé Kardashian. During the time Lamar has been battling death at Las Vegas' Sunrise hospital, rumor mills around the internet have produced countless stories about him, often blurring the facts with fiction. Now would be a good time to set them straight.
So, after rummaging down deep web tunnels, which so often hide the elusive threads of truth, we have compiled the following list of FACTS about Odom you probably did not know.
TMZ never reported that Lamar Odom was dead.
Last week, the internet went into a meltdown after reports emerged that Lamar Odom, a two-time NBA champion and reality show star, was dead. A number of sites which ran the articles cited the entertainment site, TMZ, as the source of their information. However, TMZ never ran a story about Lamar's death. In fact, it was a fake news story run by a dubious site called "TMZ Today".
In what is quickly becoming a fashion on internet, sites claiming to be satirical publications often tend to publish outrageously warped articles in the name of humor. Telling people that someone is dead when in fact they are not is so not cool, is it?
A family tragedy made Lamar Odom a basketball star.
While this might sound too strange to be true, it was, in fact, a family tragedy that made Lamar choose basketball over everything else. When he was 12, his mother died of colon cancer. Lamar was then sent to live with his grandmother, Mildred Mercer, at whose home he ended up spending a lot of time on the streets. Hoping he would not run into bad influence, Odom's grandmother urged him to focus on basketball in an effort to keep him off the streets. And voila, it worked!
Damn lucky for us too.
Lamar Odom and Khloé Kardashian are still husband and wife.
Ever since news about Lamar Odom's discovery at the ill-fated brothel became public, social media spaces were filled with information of how Khloé Kardashian was responsible for the deterioration in his physical and mental health. And while we might never know if there is any truth behind such allegations, it is absolutely true that Lamar's problems do not only spring from his marriage with Khloé. Yes, the marriage might not have worked out, but that does not mean she is responsible for what happened to Odom.
In fact, though they signed divorce papers earlier in July this year, Lamar Odom and Khloé Kardashian are still married!
Meanwhile, Khloé's sister Kim is really pleased that Lamar is getting better.Lamar Odom has not had a substance problem since he was a kid.
Though it is true that Lamar Odom has had problems with drugs (he checked into rehab in 2013 after he was found driving under the influence of several stimulants), Lamar only got into drugs much later in his life. Some sources claim that because Odom's father suffered from heroin abuse, it is possible Lamar did drugs as a kid, but that theory remains completely unfounded.
Lamar Odom's first love was always LA Lakers
According to New York Times, when the Lakers traded Odom to the Dallas Mavericks in December 2011, many of those who knew him best feared for his mental health.
"Being with the Lakers meant everything to Lamar," Charles Barkley, one of NBA's greatest legends, once said, "and Lamar is a very sensitive young man. When he was traded, I said, 'Oh, my God, you just crushed that kid.' Like, if you know him, you knew how much it meant for him to be with the Lakers."
Lamar Odom has definitely made his share of mistakes, it is true, but it is probably also time for the media to stop turning him into a booze-guzzling cocaine-sniffing washed-out sportsman it often tends to do. And for that, Lamar would be eternally grateful.
Today, Lamar Odom is in a "way better" condition than he was just five days ago, and like Kim says, we hope it stays that way.
[Photo via Doug Pensinger / Getty Images]