Los Angeles Lakers' 'Candy Man' Lamar Odom Prompts Fan and Doctor to Respond

Doctor wrote letter to team after learning of Odom's extreme sweet tooth.

ByABC News via logo
June 7, 2009, 8:01 AM

June 7, 2009— -- Los Angeles Lakers star forward Lamar Odom has been getting a lot of attention lately. But it's not only for his skills on the court but also for his sweet tooth.

Each day his personal assistant buys him candy, cookies and other sweets to satisfy his craving. Some experts say Odom is so hooked on sugar he could have an extreme sugar addiction that's affecting his game play and his health.

Physician and Lakers season ticket holder Dr. Daniel Amen, who does not treat Odom, became so concerned after seeing a report on Odom's sugar intake on ESPN that he wrote the following letters to the team and to the Los Angeles Times.

Letter from Dr. Amen to Los Angeles Lakers: Sent May 31, 2009

Why the Lakers Need a Brain Coach

When I saw the ESPN piece on Lamar Odom, The Candy Man, I knew the Lakers needed a brain coach to get closer to their potential.

The Lakers have a head coach, an assistant coach, an offensive coach, a defensive coach, a shooting coach, a big-man coach, an athletic trainer and a host of others. But why don't the Lakers have a "brain coach?" After all, it's the players' brains that control every move and every decision they make on -- and off -- the court.

When players have healthy brains, it's easier for them to make the smartest game-time decisions and it makes them more coordinated. When they have troubled brains, they have trouble with their game. Players' brains are behind every decision they make on and off the court. To make the right decisions and the right moves, players' brains have to work right.

That is why the piece on Lamar Odom's massive sugar addiction is so disturbing. Don't get me wrong, I am a big Lamar Odom fan, he is unbelievably talented, but often acts like a space cadet during games. Once, when he was taking the ball out on the sidelines and walked onto the court before he threw the ball in, causing a turnover. During the Lakers last home game against the Denver Nuggets, Kobe Bryant threw him a pass, but the ball hit him on the shoulder because he had spaced out and was not paying attention.