Two-time NBA champion Lamar Odom says the ghost of his late Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant comes to him via dreams all the time and is a source of encouragement. According to TMZ, Odom said it happens often.
“He comes to me in dreams,” said Odom. “[He’s] just talking to me all the time. ‘Hang in there. Keep fighting.’ A lot of s***.”
Odom and Bryant were teammates in Los Angeles from 2004-11 and won back-to back titles in 2009 and 2010. This stretch with the Lakers was the best of Odom’s career and he was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year for the 2010-11 season.
The two remained close friends into Bryant’s retirement and Odom took the untimely passing of the basketball legend and his daughter Gianna in 2020 extremely hard.
“His spirit, it’s so strong,” said Odom, who also has a tattoo of Kobe on his neck. “To me, he’s like not too far away. Especially when you’re dreaming of someone, and they talk to you in that dream, you’re definitely going to remember it.”
As a recovering addict, Odom is in a fight to maintain sobriety, and if a positive voice from someone he respects like Bryant is a positive influence, so be it.
Odom has battled drug addiction and depression. Not only did it cost him his NBA career, but it also ruined his marriage to Khloé Kardashian. At one point it got so bad for Odom he was comatose in a Las Vegas hospital for three days after being found unconscious at a brothel.
In the years since Odom released a documentary, “Lamar Odom: Reborn,” detailing his experimentation with psychedelics to treat his depression and drug addiction. He’s been very open and honest about his addictions and the depths to which he sunk and what he hopes people will learn from it.
“I had unleashed a demon,” Odom said. “Coke and sex went together every time after that. They had to intertwine. Maybe sharing my story and the moments I’m not so proud of is one of the reasons for my higher power saving me. Maybe I’m here to help other people.”
For an addict like Odom, the traumatic experience of Bryant’s death could have easily triggered him to start using again. One of the realities of this neuropsychological disorder is that people who are addicts use to suppress and mask pain. The tightrope an addict walks is slim and when in recovery they must always be on guard.
“I’m always going to live my life as an addict, but hopefully I’m going to live my life as an addict in recovery,” Odom said. “No more sneaking to get high. No more living in shame. I want to be out in the open, bright-eyed and accountable.”
Odom is only 42 years old he has a lot of years left, assuming good health and maintaining his sobriety. If the ghost of a former teammate is a positive influence on his life, that’s good news for him and his family.