Los Angeles Clipper Family Must Decide if Winning is Worth The Risk of Leaving Lamar Odom Behind

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Kelvin Kuo – USA TODAY Sports

The so-called “talking heads” in the sports world pick a topic or person and  marry themselves to an opinion until it instigates thought and creates emotion. Any man can walk into a room of basketball fans and accuse the great Michael Jordan of being nothing more than another basketball player that benefited from media hype and overexposure. An asinine comment such as this would spark dialogue that would eventually cause a few to question what they witnessed with their own eyes.

But, sometimes there’s a sports story that deserves to be examined from every cortex of our brain, a story where the narrative is controlled by the principles involved, of regardless media spin. Take for example a story like the tragedy and pain former Los Angeles Clipper, Lamar Odom, is living with. TMZ reports that Odom has been battling a serious drug addiction that has crippled his spirit, tarnished his legacy, and will possibly force the former World Champion to retire. Life is nothing more than a series of battles. Some won. Many lost. And while Odom is not the first human to mistake the temporary escape offered through addiction as a cure, he’s turned his back on his demons, and they don’t follow basketball and/or take checks.

Odom is refusing the help that will ultimately save his life. He’s currently unemployed and according to reports, the dense fog that’s  surrounding him has made him unrecognizable. The Clippers gambled on Odom after he quit on the Dallas Mavericks. He managed to convince the basketball community that he and Dallas were geographically incompatible, while Los Angeles soil was far less fattening and easier to rebound off of.  For those who thought Odom must be high to walk away from $8 million because he couldn’t bare to live east of the Staples Center six montsh out of the year, were apparently on to something.

The Clippers’ lackadaisical non-attempt to retain a discounted Odom was not the Clippers being the old Clippers at all. It was an organization 100 percent committed to rid the stains of mediocrity that has plagued the franchise for almost forever. The Clippers could very well close the Odom chapter and never blink off their ultimate goal. A busy offseason has employed many new faces for the red and blue, making team chemistry an unknown commodity. The Clippers can win without Odom, but they can’t win moonlighting as a crisis center between games.

But, Odom is losing the battle to a lonely disease. Odom was a shell of his Six-Man-of -The-Year self in 2012, yet he found serenity in being part of the Clipper family. Many attempt to cure depression with alienation. It’s the least time consuming remedy for someone else’s problem. But giving a man a locker and a uniform can dwarf the narcissist to the realization that the world doesn’t revolve around any man, even if he is 6-foot-11 and rich.

ChristopherBrown is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @whatrockschris. Like him on Facebook.

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