This is why I can pass on being famous.

A highly talented basketball player is in life-threatening condition, and in response, the media has dragged up every piece of dirt on the encounter that played a role in his hospitalization.

By now, most people have heard that Lamar Odom of Los Angeles Lakers fame is in critical condition after falling unconscious at a brothel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The media is gleefully falling all over itself to be the first to get all of the juicy details that ought to be kept private.

Among other things, I was mildly surprised that the 911 call placed on behalf of Odom was released to the public as fast as it was. I’ve heard some before, and unless the person dies, I wonder if that person’s health privacy rights are violated when people find out why an ambulance was called on their behalf? Other than that, was it necessary for people to know the kind of drugs he had ingested or the name and background information of the individual or individuals he was partying it up with?

On Odom’s behalf, I must admit I take slight offense to him being labeled a “reality star” in any sense. No, this man is an ATHLETE. He plays BASKETBALL. That’s who he is, that’s what he does. Just because of his brief marriage to Khloe Kardashian and their spin-off series does not mean that his major contribution to the game of basketball should ever be discounted. THAT is where Lamar Odom made his biggest impact. It is also apparent that  Odom was not comfortable with the idea of being a reality star, as it opened him up (unfairly) to all kinds of unsolicited and perhaps unfounded media attacks that he did not receive as a basketball player:

Interestingly enough, the media has been covering the story in two ways–either they have been digging up the dirty details about Odom’s encounter OR they have been following the moves of the Kardashians and Jenners as related to Odom. “Kylie cuts off livestream in mid-broadcast”… “Kris Jenner arrives at hospital looking distraught”… Seriously? What is with people’s fascination with this family? I am definitely no fan of theirs, but it did seem like Khloe loved Lamar (and still does) and the family is rallying around him. But this is not about the Kardashians or the Jenners. This is about a young man with children who has had some difficulties and now needs support, not a bunch of rumors and gossip.

Of course the Internet discussion boards are full of self-righteous people who have never done anything wrong–never squandered an opportunity, never made a mistake, never committed a sexual sin, never done any drugs or alcohol, never had problems dealing with loss or a difficult childhood. We are given details of Odom’s life. We know his father was an addict and his mother died when he was young. We know he lost a baby to SIDS. We know that the grandmother who raised him died when he was in his early twenties–basically still a kid. What we can’t fill is in anything that happened in between. What we don’t know is how all of those things have affected him. We also don’t know whether if everything the media has printed about Odom is true or false.

I wish people understood that the media has a job to do. They have papers and magazines to sell. They want people to visit their website. In order to line their pockets they have no problem destroying someone in the process.

Try this instead…

Look at some clips of his basketball excellence.

Learn about him from the people who REALLY know him–his kids, his teammates, his coaches, his friends.

Think of the mistakes you’ve made, and realize some of those could have put you in dire straits too… Be thankful for what you have overcome and pray for strength for those who are going through it.

There is absolutely no benefit to tearing someone else down.

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