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Lamar Odom's Childhood Coach & Teammates 'Were Afraid Of This Day' — Say 'Basketball Was His Therapy'

| Filed under: DrugsSad SadMental HealthLamar OdomNBA

Lamar Odom

As you know, former NBA star Lamar Odom remains in critical condition as he is being treated for an alleged overdose.

Although sources say the 35-year-old is showing signs of improvement, this scary situation is something that many people close to LO have worried about for a long time.

His former childhood basketball coach Gary Charles – who insists Lamar had not given up on basketball — spoke with the New York Times about his recent conversations with Khloe Kardashian's estranged husband:

"I can't lie. A lot of us were afraid of this day. [Lamar] had a habit of disappearing for days at a time. I said to him, 'My God, I don't know how you stand up sometimes.'"

Related: Rob Kardashian FINALLY Breaks His Silence On Lamar Odom!

A former teammate from Christ the King Regional High School in Queens, Erick Barkley, wished the forward had returned back to New York be with with "genuine, loving people who have been there," adding:

"Basketball was his therapy."

Speedy Claxton — another former NBA player and high school teammate of Odom — shared that Lam hit a low point when the Lakers traded him to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011:

"I think he took that hard. He really liked it in L.A. He felt like he had a family there, with the Kardashians. I think that was kind of the start of it, when everything went bad."

Coach Charles agreed:

"Being with the Lakers meant everything to Lamar, and Lamar is a very sensitive young man. When he was traded, I said, 'Oh, my God, you just crushed that kid.' Like, if you know him, you knew how much it meant for him to be with the Lakers."

There's no doubt his former coaches and teammates witnessed the athlete struggle through some very difficult times.

We just hope that news of Lamar's improvement keeps rolling in!

[Image via WENN.]

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