Former Lakers and Clippers teammates and other members of the "basketball brotherhood" expressed support and wishes for a quick recovery Wednesday after learning ex-NBA star Lamar Odom was found unresponsive at a Nevada brothel.
The 35-year-old remained hospitalized after he was found face down at Nevada's Love Ranch Tuesday afternoon, according to brothel owner Dennis Hof. Odom, who spent the most successful part of his NBA career in Los Angeles, was stabilized and taken to Desert View Hospital in nearby Pahrump, a Nye County Sheriff's Department statement said.
Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson was one of several current and former Lakers who tweeted support for Odom.
"What most people don't realize about Lamar Odom is that he's a better person than he is a basketball player," Johnson tweeted. "Every year Lamar Odom was with the Lakers, he would buy the rookies their first 2-3 custom suits, that's what type of guy he is.
Every year Lamar Odom was with the Lakers, he would buy the rookies their first 2-3 custom suits, that's what type of guy he is.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 14, 2015
Former Clippers teammate Chris Paul issued a statement at the end of his news conference in Shanghai, where the team played the Hornets.
"I wanted to extend love and support to one of our NBA brothers, Lamar Odom," Paul said. "We love you, man. Keep fighting. He's a member of this fraternity, our basketball brotherhood, and we love you and we're all there for you, man."
Ex-Lakers big man Shaquille O'Neal asked fans to join him in wishing Odom well.
"Everyone that reads this post, please pray for my friend Lamar Odom that he makes a full recovery. #MyHeartHurts," O'Neal tweeted.
Everyone that reads this post, please pray for my friend Lamar Odom that he makes a full recovery. #MyHeartHurts
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) October 14, 2015
Details regarding Odom's hospitalization began to emerge as the Lakers played Tuesday night against Sacramento in Las Vegas. Lakers announcer Bill MacDonald sent out well wishes with a on behalf of the team.
Several Lakers players visited the hospital after their exhibition game Tuesday night in Las Vegas, The Associated Press reported.
"There's not one word I could say that would make sense," Laker Metta World Peace said, clearly distraught.
Odom spent most of his 14-year NBA career in Los Angeles with the Lakers and Clippers, becoming a fan favorite and beloved teammate. His also was well-respected among opponents.
"I couldn't sleep last night," tweeted Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade. "Sitting and thinking about LO as the person I know him as and thinking about what he has gone thru in his life.
I couldn't sleep last night. sitting and thinking about LO as the person I know him as and thinking about what he has gone thru in his life
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) October 14, 2015
Odom emerged as one of the most promising basketball talents of his generation after a difficult childhood in Queens, where his mother died of cancer when he was 12 and his estranged father was addicted to heroin. He eventually won two NBA championship rings and an Olympic medal, and became a reality TV star with the high-profile lifestyle that comes along with it in Southern California.
The neighborhood he grew up in, South Jamaica in Queens, was rampant with drugs and street crime, and he never forgot where he came from, writing tributes to his mother and grandmother on his sneakers before games. The rangy kid with a silk-smooth shot and exceptional ball-handling skills drew comparisons to Magic Johnson when he played on a traveling youth team alongside Ron Artest, aka Metta World Peace, his future Lakers teammate.
Prayers up for LO. Stay strong, man. pic.twitter.com/WDyRSci9Ig
— Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) October 14, 2015
Hotly recruited from high school, he spent a year at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where NCAA investigations kept him from playing, and then spent a year at the University of Rhode Island, winning the conference title.
Tall enough to play center and skilled enough to be a playmaking guard, Odom's talent was so coveted that he was picked fourth in the 1999 NBA draft by the moribund Clippers. Suddenly, he was "living like a 19-year-old rock star," he said.
Odom had two children during those years, Destiny and Lamar Jr., with an ex-girlfriend, Liza Morales. They had another infant son, Jayden, whose crib death in 2006 was attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
After seven years with the Lakers, Odom felt crushed in December 2011 when the club traded him.
Odom loved wearing the Lakers' purple and gold. His selfless play won him the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award.
The Lakers won a second NBA final as he played alongside Artest. Loving fans followed him from his downtown Los Angeles loft to the arena before playoff games. His obsessive consumption of candy endeared him even more.
He played his final NBA game 18 months after he was traded from the team.