Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is continuing to stand by his troubled former teammate Lamar Odom after recently rushing to his hospital bedside.
“He’s a brother, above everything else. It’s important to see him get back on his feet,” Bryant said after Tuesday’s practice before the team’s opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“It’s amazing to see him doing so well. It truly is remarkable.”
Bryant was one of the first to visit Odom after he was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel on Oct. 13, after allegedly taking a combination of cocaine and herbal viagra. Kobe was playing a Lakers exhibition game in Las Vegas that night and was soon by Odom’s side, along with his ex-teammate’s estranged wife, Khloé Kardashian.
Odom’s health crisis “puts things in perspective a little bit more,” Bryant said Tuesday. “This is what we do. This is not who we are. Sometimes basketball can get in the way of life and in the way of living.”
The NBA stars played together on the Lakers for seven years, including in three NBA championships — two of which they won.
While Bryant, 37, is heading into his 20th NBA season despite a run of injuries, 35-year-old Odom last played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013. Shortly afterwards he was arrested for DUI, and later that year Kardashian filed for divorce.
Odom, who was transported to Los Angeles for further treatment after being hospitalized in Nevada, has made “miraculous progress,” his family said last week.