After leaving the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011, Lamar Odom’s problems became more noticeable on and off the court. On Thursday, he penned a piece about his addiction for The Players Tribune, opening up about his struggles.
His brush with death was something that concerned many across the sports and entertainment industries. His relationship with Khloe Kardashian was already over, but she still stuck by his side in that Nevada hospital room.
Odom talked about what it was like and what he was thinking while in that hospital bed after waking up from a coma that he was in for four days.
It will make you do things you never thought you’d do. It will turn you into a different person. It will put you in situations where you say to yourself, “How the fuck did I get here?”
When I was in that hospital bed, I kept asking myself that question. And I kept thinking about all the people in my life who aren’t here anymore. Mostly, I thought about my mother. My dad wasn’t really around when I was a kid. He had his own problems with addiction. But my mother was my best friend in the world. She was just so caring. My first memory in life is hearing the sound of her voice. She had these really wide eyes and a real soft voice.
In the piece, he also took some time to reminisce about his youth and how he used basketball as a way to cope with his grandmother’s death. Odom has lost a lot of people, including a son, which makes this piece a powerful and heartbreaking read. His son was only six months old when he passed and at the time, Odom was playing for the Lakers, but was in New York for the offseason.
I just seen him. Gone? How the fuck is that even possible? How can he be gone?
I walked into the hospital room … and the hurt on his mother’s face, I’ll never forget that. How she couldn’t believe it.
Six months old. Gone.
He’d be 11 now.
He also talks about when he truly hit rock bottom. His wife walked in on him doing coke in a motel room.
I’m a millionaire. I’d made it out of Jamaica, Queens, and won two NBA titles. And I’m in a motel, with some random person, doing coke. But I just wanted to get high with this girl, and I had no other place to go. I couldn’t take her home. You know, I was being a scumbag. Nothing else I got for that. No excuses. No bullshit. That’s just the truth.
While he was in the hospital, Odom received texts and visits from old teammates that he hadn’t heard from in a while, including Kobe. It’s great to see Lamar Odom open up about his addiction and hopefully it can be seen as a learning experience for many others on just how bad things can get.
I think I can speak for everyone at Lakers Outsiders when I say we’re glad that he’s sober and doing much better now.