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Stephen A. Smith Apologizes To Lamar Odom After Knicks Rant

Stephen A. Smith debates Max Kellerman.

Twitter/@SINow

On Thursday, a Stephen A. Smith rant about Phil Jackson went super viral, and former NBA star Lamar Odom was caught in the crossfire.

During his rant, Smith vociferously chastised Jackson for signing Lamar Odom towards the end of the 2014, while the forward was battling drug addiction:

"His very first move as the executive was to sign Lamar Odom who was on crack!"

He loudly repeated that line multiple times during the rant.

Odom's lawyer Saam Zangeneh released a statement about the rant, which Odom tweeted along with the word "slander."

Smith has responded with an apology released to Deadspin, in which he says that Odom, whom he has "personal affection" for, "was not the target of (his) ire."

Because of my personal affection for Lamar Odom — and only for that reason — I want to return to my comments about something I’ve repeated quite often over the last few days: the flagrant ineptitude that I feel has been on continual display by Knick’s President Phil Jackson.

My comments were NOT to put any more focus on Lamar Odom’s much publicized drug use and addiction. He was not the target of my ire.

The sole focus of my comments were directed at the unmitigated disaster that Phil Jackson has created since he’s arrived in New York. It my opinion, he simply couldn’t leave soon enough.

Smith goes on to say that Odom is "one of the nicest athletes any of us have encountered." While he stops well short of answering all of the issues raised by Odom's lawyer, Smith rarely pulls back on any of his ridiculous rants. It's rare for him to acknowledge that he stepped over the line.

[Deadspin]