Lamar Odom In Rehab, Teammates React

As Lamar Odom heads into rehab to battle a reported drug problem, former teammates and coaches of the NBA star say despite his recent troubles, the player is a good dude.

Clippers player Jordan Farmar says Lamar Odom is not the type to stay out of touch — and as rehab reports circulate, Farmar says that the whole situation is worrisome:

“It sucks to hear… It’s unfortunate. A couple of us have reached out to him and haven’t heard back. That’s just a sign of him going through some tough times.”

Odom’s former Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro echoed the sentiment, saying Odom is a team player whose skills remain above par, commenting:

“He is a good guy, a good teammate… Everybody liked him. There were no issues… Lamar can still play. It’s not the basketball skills that are the problem. Once he gets himself in shape and gets his mind wrapped around basketball, he can help somebody.”

Del Negro added:

“I understand he is going through a lot right now… It is never easy. He has always had some difficult obstacles, and they weigh on him a lot. You feel bad, but you hope he is all right.”

ESPN points back to a 2009 profile of Lamar Odom from Sports Illustrated, which summarizes the challenges the young NBA star faced — including the 2006 SIDS death of his baby boy, Jayden:

“The happiest Laker is one whose father was addicted to heroin; whose mother died of colon cancer when he was 12; who attended three high schools; had his first college scholarship revoked before the fall of his freshman year; became a subject of three college investigations; declared for the NBA draft; tried unsuccessfully to pull out of the draft; was picked by arguably the worst franchise in sports; violated the league’s antidrug policy twice within eight months; and, after finally getting his life together, went home to New York City for an aunt’s funeral and wound up burying his 6 1/2-month-old son, Jayden, then getting robbed at gunpoint.”

It seems that while Odom is battling some big demons, partner Khloe has his back.

As teammates wished Lamar Odom the best, Josh Powell conceded that sometimes “that weight can get too heavy on a person’s shoulders.”