When guys like this start going public, you know that Lamar Odom’s circumstances are getting serious.
The NBAer’s college coach, Jim Harrick, has been one of L.O.’s biggest father figures, much more so than his own father Joe Odom, and Jim is scared for Lamar’s life. He opened up about the baller’s situation, saying:
“I fear for his health, his safety, I thought everything was under control, but clearly it wasn’t. I fear for his life. I worry about him, as if he was my own son. I love the guy. When he can’t face things, Lamar runs and hides to cope with the pressure. It’s difficult being this giant superstar. I think all the deaths he’s faced in his life, they’re the things that have hurt him more than anything. No one should have to go through what he’s had to. Now I fear the drug could kill him, or he could commit suicide. He’s got too much to live for.”
Lamar has been in hiding ever since news of his drug use as made public, so it seems like he’s definitely dealing with things just like he did before.
Also, in case you forgot, the deaths Jim refers to are losing his mother at a young age, as well as Lamar losing one of his own children, in addition to the deaths the summer before he joined the Dallas Mavericks.
Jim expounded on Lamar’s penchant for hiding out, recalling the NBA free agent’s youth:
“There were a couple of times I couldn’t find him. Twice I lost him for a week before I found him in New York City. I don’t know where he went or what he did. We used to joke that Lamar would say he’d call you Friday, but he didn’t tell you which Friday he’d call you. He wasn’t as disciplined as the other guys, he’d never had that, no one had told him what to do, where to be. He had no father figure before me. We had to drum it into him at a later age, and so it didn’t come naturally.”
As for Lamar’s drug use, he previously tested positive for marijuana in the NBA when he was young, to which Jim told him he needed to outgrow it, but Jim is still nervous for Lamar. He said:
“I know he’s been depressed. I don’t know anyone who has lost as many people as he has in his life. It’s hard not to be depressed when you lose someone close to you. But I’m the biggest male influence in his life. I want to get him some help, and I’ve got the people to give it to him. But he now won’t return phone calls. I text him, but don’t ever hear from him. He’s got two beautiful children who need him desperately. But now anything could happen - the drug could kill him.”
Another important issue that Jim brought up was Khloe Kardashian, who has loyally stuck by Lamar’s side thus far. He thinks that the reality TV star is the best thing to happen to his young protege, saying:
“We used to talk all the time, and when he was getting married after only 30 days of knowing her, I called him and said: ‘What the hell you doing?’ And his answer was: ‘Coach, she makes my life complete.’ And now that I’ve met her, I know she’s as spectacular as he says. I was at their wedding. When I saw them together, they looked perfect. They loved each other and I think they still do, even if right now they’re off track. I was so pleased he married someone so solid. I loved Khloe. She’s genuine and a super young lady.”
If this guy can’t get through to Lamar, then we’re not sure who can.
Hopefully the big guy reads his former coach’s words and takes them to heart. Everyone just wants Lamar to get better!
[Image via AP Images and BauerGriffinOnline.]
Tags: basketball, drugs, family, father figure, jim harrick, khloe kardashian, lamar odom, sports