Lamar Odom's Former Lakers Teammates Speak Out: 'He's an Emotional Guy'
Amid reports of drug addiction and marital troubles, fellow NBA players say they've reached out to Odom and have not heard back.
Amid Lamar Odom's public struggles, his former Lakers teammates are speaking out.
NBA players Jordan Farmar, Josh Powell and Shannon Brown, who played alongside Odom during the team's back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, tell ESPN that they have attempted to contact their former teammate to no avail.
"It sucks to hear," said Farmar, referring to Odom's alleged drug use and marital troubles. "It's unfortunate. A couple of us have reached out to him and haven't heard back. That's just a sign of him going through some tough times."
Odom's personal struggles have been well-documented in the media. His father, who was addicted to heroin, has appeared on Khloe and Lamar, Odom's former E! reality show with wife Khloe Kardashian, multiple times, while his mother died of colon cancer when the athlete was just 12 years old.
A 2009 Sports Illustrated profile on Odom detailed his early struggles in professional sports, as well as the death of Odom's 6 ½ month-old son, Jayden. In 2011, Odom was a passenger in a fatal car crash that killed a 15-year-old boy in New York City and shortly thereafter was traded from the Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks at the end of the NBA lockout. (Odom had since been traded back to Los Angeles -- but not to the Lakers. The 34-year-old, 14-year NBA vet played last season for the Clippers.)
"It's so crazy," Powell told ESPN. "You look at all of the stuff he's been through, that's just some of the stuff that we know from the years that he's been in the league, not to mention the stuff he's been through in life, period. A lot of times people handle those things differently. Sometimes that weight can get too heavy on a person's shoulders. Granted, you don't want to see people handle it in the way that they handle it, but sometimes people just don't have another way to go.
"It's just really sad, man. You just want to wish the best for him. You want for the people that are part of his circle, you would hope that they are doing any and everything to try to be supportive and try to help him get back to being that old Lamar that everybody is used to seeing."
Brown called Odom an "emotional guy who wears his emotions on his sleeves."
"I think he's the type of person where when he's out in public, when he's hanging out with his friends and trying to have a good time, that's exactly what he does," said Brown. "But sometimes when people get by themselves and they get alone, that's when it weighs on them the most because their mind isn't occupied on other things, it's strictly occupied on what's hurting them. So he's one of those guys. He didn't really talk much about it, and if he did, it was very, very, very brief."
While those close to Odom have kept relatively quiet amid the media firestorm, Farmar, Brown and Powell used the ESPN platform to issue a message to their pal.
"I'm here for him," Farmar said. "We're all here for him, really. We know what kind of guy he really is. Everybody goes through tough times in life, and if he needs anybody, he can always reach out to us."