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10/15/2015 10:08 am ET Updated Oct 15, 2015

Scott Van Pelt Reminds Us That Lamar Odom Was An NBA Star Before He Was A Kardashian

Lamar Odom is much more than a reality TV show character.

ESPN's Scott Van Pelt wants the pop culture obsessives in media and beyond to know one thing: First and foremost, Lamar Odom was an NBA star in the public eye before anything else. Hell, he was a nationally lauded AAU basketball legend even before that.

“Kardashian reality star? No, no, no, no. Lamar Odom, unlike those for whom fame is oxygen, whose fame comes in the absence of accomplishment, his fame was earned,” Van Pelt said on Wednesday night's "SportsCenter."

As Van Pelt went on to argue, when athletes, fans and media see news that Odom is currently in a hospital fighting for his life after being found unconscious at a Nevada brothel on Tuesday, we recall his distinguished 14-season NBA career, his titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and his 2011 Sixth Man of the Year Award. The "People Magazine perspective," as Van Pelt aptly put it, has changed Odom's public image, and not for the better.

“Passed out in a brothel makes for a helluva headline, and I’m sure quite a juicy episode of TV, but stripped to the foundation, it’s just incredibly sad. All of it," he said.

Odom is, as Van Pelt pointed out using rapper Bun B's tweet, a beloved member of the NBA family -- not just the Kardashian family.

“His name is Lamar Odom. And we knew it long before he got married on a TV show we don’t watch." 

Amen to that, SVP. 🙏. 

 

Also on HuffPost:

PHOTO GALLERY
Some Of The Best Photos From Lamar Odom's Career
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