Ever since Lamar Odom was found unconscious in a Vegas-area legal brothel on Tuesday, there's been an outpouring of love and support for the former LA Laker.
The 35-year-old remains in a coma with reportedly "no improvement," and people continue to hold out hope for the father of two.
One of Lamar's former coaches, Gary Charles, is one of those people — even opening up to share some beautiful memories of the basketball player!
Related: Lamar's Loved Ones Reportedly "Preparing For The Worst"
Having known the New York native as a teen, he reminisces about the time Odom showed up late to a semifinal game. Refusing to play him, he recalls Lamar showing up early to the championship game, where they won and he was named MVP.
"He looked at me without saying a word and smiled but I knew what he was thinking. 'I know coach, I know,' with his million dollar smile."
It's no wonder Coach Charles remembers that moment! It says so much about Lamar's character.
And he continued, revealing:
"Lamar has a million dollar smile and would give you his shirt off his back. But, he never learned how to say the word 'no.'… It's tough because this kid is like a son to me all of those years, and honestly, I've always been worried I would get a phone call like this. I can't say I'm surprised. I have worried about this day for as long as I've known him. Everyone close to him has worried, and we are all praying he makes it."
We can't even imagine what a difficult time this must be for his friends and family, especially knowing how much life L.O. still has to give! Gary said:
"I don't want to see anything bad happen to him. I think he has a lot to live for and a lot to give to society in a positive way. He is the nicest kid I ever had the pleasure of coaching. He is one of the nicest people you would ever want to be around. He is in the top five kids I've ever worked with. It's just a shame… He's always been in a tough situation with his dad, his mom dying, and his aunt and then his own child dying. There is so much—everything he has gone through—it is unbelievable. He is a good guy with a heart of gold and he loves his kids."
And Lam's former coach didn't just speak out about the NBA player's relationship with his kids, but also Khloe Kardashian:
"She helped get rid of those negative people around him. I always felt she would help keep one dollar in his pocket and two in the bank. He loved her and I think she loved him, too."
Related: Khloe Reponds To Love Ranch Owner's Statements!
Speaking on what might have led his former mentee to his binge at the Love Ranch:
"I'm not sure what pushed him to this, but everyone goes through a weak moment. The people around you have to be strong enough to keep you from getting weak. Lamar always went with the flow whatever the flow was and he needed people around him to help him say no."
He also confesses he and Lamar spoke back in July, sharing:
"He had regretted I hadn't been in his life. I was crying and we were reminiscing. We talked for a half an hour. He told me he wanted me to help him. He wanted me back in his life. I told him I would be there for him and help him with whatever he needed… He wanted one more shot in the league, while in the process of clearing his name, and hoping to mend our relationship, and maybe I could help keep him on the straight and narrow. His name and how people would remember him has always been important to him."
This must be so heartbreaking for Coach Charles to see then, knowing Lamar was seeking help. He even said:
"I think he was down on the fact that he and Khloe weren't getting along. He felt he needed be in Vegas for a clean break and he had done boxing before to train. He was getting in shape and working out. He was considering going back to school and finishing his degree and thinking of coaching. He was serious about it. He absolutely hadn't given up."
We so hope he pulls through! And of course, so does his former mentor!
"To know Lamar is to love Lamar. We are all rooting for him."
Lamar and his loved ones continue to be in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: basketball, gary charles, health, khloe kardashian, lamar odom, nba, sad sad