According to TMZ, Bryant left his preseason game in Las Vegas to go to the hospital where Odom is being treated, joining the Kardashians and other friends and family of Odom.
Odom is in a coma and fighting for his life, according to multiple reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bryant & Odom Played Together for 7 Seasons
Lamar Odom played alongside Kobe Bryant on the Los Angeles Lakers for seven seasons, from 2004 to 2011.
Odom was traded by the Miami Heat in 2004 along with Caron Butler and Brian grant for Shaquille O’Neal.
He was in the starting lineup alongside Bryant for his first four seasons in Los Angeles, before being moved to a bench role. He found success as a “sixth man,” during the 2008-2009 season, helping Bryant and the Lakers win the NBA Championship that season.
Odom was resigned to a four-year contract and helped the Lakers win another NBA Championship in 2010. He played one more season in Los Angeles, before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
2. Odom ‘Kept Everyone’s Spirits High’ During His Time With the Lakers
Odom thrived as a sidekick to the legendary Bryant, who is known for his “fiery” style of leadership. Their Lakers teammates said Odom, along with being a talented basketball player, helped get the team through a long season.
“It was kind of like good cop, bad cop with him and Kobe,” their former teammate, Jordan Farmar, told ESPN in 2013. “Kobe was the serious, determined one, and Lamar was just as talented and able to help us on that level but also could keep everybody’s spirits high over a long, tough season.”
Bryant talked about Odom’s role on the team in 2011, saying, “I’ve known Lamar for a long time and for the team itself, he’s meant a lot in terms of his versatility and his personality. He’s a big presence for us in the locker room, just from a team chemistry standpoint. He’s great at bringing guys together and things of that nature.”
3. Bryant Criticized the Lakers’ Decision to Trade Odom After the 2011 Season
Bryant was publicly critical of the Lakers’ decision to trade Odom after the 2011 season. Los Angeles sent Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a draft pick and trade exemption. A previous trade that would have sent Odom to Houston Rockets in a three-team deal to bring Chris Paul to the Lakers was vetoed by NBA commissioner David Stern.
“I don’t like it,” Bryant told ESPN. “To be honest with you, I don’t like it.”
“You’re talking about the Sixth Man of the Year last year,” Bryant said. “He played lights out. I don’t understand the criticism of reality shows and this, that and the other. I don’t get it. I don’t understand that. He had his best season last season, clearly wasn’t a distraction, and he played his ass off. I don’t get where that comes from.”
Bryant said the trade made him “pissed.”
4. Bryant Stayed Close With Odom After He Left the Lakers
Bryant stayed friends with Odom after he left the Lakers. He stuck by him through tough times.
“I’ve talked to him during some of the low times for him, and I think during those moments it’s funny how sports can be really impactful because I used what we did as a team, and the toughness and the mental fortitude and shared some stories to kind of remind him of that journey, right? And to take him back to that place, to hopefully get him to find that place again and get himself out of this thing,” Bryant told USA Today in February.
“We all stay close, man. Me and Shannon (Brown) just had dinner the other night. When you go through stuff like that, and you win something like that together, you don’t lose that.”
5. Odom Suffered Multiple Strokes After Possibly Overdosing on Drugs
Odom suffered multiple strokes and brain damage is likely, TMZ reports.
The strokes were “ischemic,” which occurs when a blood clot prevents blood flow to the brain. This type of stroke often occurs as a result of a cocaine overdose or an overdose from another hard drug.
According to E Online, nearly “every drug imaginable” was found in Odom’s system when he was brought into the hospital. He’s unconscious and on a ventilator, but still alive.