Lamar Odom’s friends, colleagues relieved as he shows improvement

first_img“He probably has no idea we were there,” Griffin said. “Hopefully he knows there are a lot of guys that love him and want to see him do better.”That contradicted the defeated feeling about Odom earlier in the week. Walton described the ordeal as “one of the hardest things I ever had to deal with” and avoided reading the endless negative and frequently inaccurate media reports. Griffin recalled feeling “pretty awful.” So did the Clippers’ coach, Doc Rivers, after talking to the team about Odom’s health before a 42-point loss to Charlotte in Shanghai. “I don’t know if that was the right conversation to have right before you walk out in the preseason game because the guys were very emotional in the locker room about it,” Rivers said. “But I just thought it was the right thing to do.”Rivers also believed it was the right thing to tell Odom, “Get right and you’ve got a job” for the 2013-14 season. But reports emerged in the summer of 2013 that he became addicted to crack cocaine after police arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence. He has not played in the NBA since. “Obviously he couldn’t get that part right,” Rivers said. “But what I told my players is you’ve got to enjoy each other more. I said, ‘Lamar had it right on the court. He’s the exact opposite of half the players.’ They don’t get it right on the floor, they don’t figure out how to play for their teammate and be a great teammate.”Hence, the reaction from Odom’s friends and former teammates.Said Walton: “I’m able to laugh and smile again.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error SAN DIEGO >> The partisan crowd here reached fever pitch as the Lakers’ public service announcer Lawrence Tanter said something in his soothing voice.No, Tanter did not say Kobe Bryant’s name during starting lineup introductions. In fact, Bryant missed the Lakers’ preseason game against Golden State on Saturday at Valley View Casino Center because of a bruised lower left leg.. Instead, Tanter brought up Lamar Odom, who has been in a Las Vegas hospital this week after losing consciousness at a local brothel. Tanter asked that the Lakers fans continue to wish Odom a successful recovery.Of course, the polite request met a roar of approval. But only days earlier, that wish may have seemed unrealistic. Brothel workers from Love Ranch South in Crystal, Nev., reported in a 911 call released Wednesday that Odom took cocaine and 10 doses of a sexual performance enhancer over three days. center_img But on Saturday, Odom stayed at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas without any setbacks after breathing without the help of a ventilator for the past two days, according to sources familiar with the situation. Odom, the former Lakers and Clippers forward, also showed improvement with his breathing and vision, sources added. “It’s like a weight being lifted,” said Warriors interim coach Luke Walton, who played with Odom on the Lakers from 2004 to 2011. “He has a long way to go. But it’s nice to see, hear and know he has a fighting chance.” Odom still feels fatigued and remains physically limited, sources said. Concerns also persist about the state of his kidneys, though there is some hope. Yet some in the Lakers have now privately expressed confidence Odom will survive his latest scare. The Clippers also expressed hope; Odom played there from 1999 to 2003 and the 2012-13 season.“LO’s a great dude and we’ve all been fighting with him,” Clippers guard Chris Paul said after Saturday’s practice at the Clippers’ facility in Playa Vista. “He’s getting better.”The Clippers’ Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan all said they sensed that after visiting Odom late Wednesday night and Thursday evening after a week-long trip in China. last_img

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