Lamar Odom’s former teammate and childhood friend Metta World Peace is expressing his concern for the ailing NBA star, while voicing his “bitter” feelings about Hollywood and the dangers of reality TV.
“Lamar grew up in unfortunate circumstances, so Khloé [Kardashian] probably was a good thing to happen to him … the TV show wasn’t, L.A. probably wasn’t, and Hollywood probably wasn’t,” the Los Angeles Lakers player told CNN’s Don Lemon Thursday.
Odom, 35, is currently fighting for his life after collapsing on Tuesday at the Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nevada. The former Olympian used cocaine and sexual performance enhancing supplements prior to his hospitalization, according to the Nye County Sheriff. He remains in critical condition and unresponsive at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas.
The NBA player-turned-reality star met Khloé Kardashian at a party thrown for Metta — who was then called Ron Artest — in September 2007 and they were married seven days later.
“Khloé seems like she’s a cool person,” Metta said, before adding: “The way they got divorced was all over the TV networks and I am very blank and bitter towards that.”
Rather than saying anything negative about the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” family, Metta said: “I want to stay positive and say all the right things because I don’t want to say anything Lamar wouldn’t approve of.”
Metta played with Odom as a teenager in Queens, New York, on an Amateur Athletic Union basketball team and they both went on to join the Lakers alongside superstar Kobe Bryant.
“I love Lamar, when I first met Lamar he was a little bit shorter than me and we joined the same teams,” he told Lemon. “We all got drafted [by the NBA] in the same year.”
The NBA star said he wasn’t aware that Odom had addiction issues when he was playing with him, but later “heard a lot of different things that were upsetting about drugs and Lamar. Then I sent him a text and didn’t get one back.
“Lamar is a better friend than me, he is very caring. I saw him a few months ago and we were going to start training together. I can’t wait for him to get better as he owes me a workout,” Metta continued, optimistically. “I just hope that he does well.”