Lamar Odom's Former Teammates Encouraged By His Improvement: 'He's a Part of Our NBA Family'
"I want him to know we're here for him," NBA star Blake Griffin tells PEOPLE
Lamar Odom is on his former teammates’ minds.
Los Angeles Clipper star Chris Paul held his annual “Celebrity Server” night to benefit the Chris Paul Family Foundation at Mastro’s in Beverly Hills on Sunday. Many of Paul’s teammates, including Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and coach Doc Rivers came out to support the foundation, but their thoughts also remained with former Clipper Lamar Odom’s health.
“He’s doing a lot better now, so I’m happy about that,” Jordan told PEOPLE at the event, which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charities. “It’s tough seeing an ex-teammate like that, but I like to focus on the positive.”
Odom, a Clipper for over five years, has been hospitalized since Oct. 13, when he was discovered unconscious at a Nevada brothel. Paul, Griffin, and Jordan were some of the first people to rush to Odom’s side while he was hospitalized in Las Vegas. He has since been transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“It was tough, but he’s obviously doing much better,” Griffin added. “I’m glad I got to be there. I want him to know we’re here for him.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he checks in on Odom’s condition regularly, and that the amount of love Odom has received is a testament to his character.
“This now has nothing to do with basketball. It has to do with his life,” Rivers said. “It shows you what type of guy he is with the love and support. Everybody doesn’t get that. Now, we’re hoping that he comes out of this and that same love and support he had while he was going through this translates. That’s my prayer.”
Paul desribed the NBA community as a family.
“Lamar’s my friend,” Paul said. “He’s a part of our NBA family, and we’re all going to be there for him through thick and thin.”
Though Odom has made great strides, a source told PEOPLE Monday that he is still facing a serious health crisis. The source said Odom underwent emergency surgery said to be connected to pneumonia Wednesday.
“It’s two steps forward, then a step back, but it does feel like some progress is being made, little by little. There’s still a black cloud, like, ‘Okay, what’s next?’ ” the source said. “The pneumonia was a huge setback, and now there’s worry about permanent scarring of the lungs. His kidneys are still not functioning correctly, but he’s nowhere near strong enough to even think of a transplant, so he’s on dialysis.”