‘Weeks Later Just Calling & Texting Him’: Former Teammate Opens Up on Kobe Bryant’s Passing

Published 01/01/2021, 2:30 PM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA — SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2013 — The Lakers Kobe Bryant watches the game slip away during their 109-95 loss to the Clippers on Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


The Los Angeles Lakers was where Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom met each other. They were teammates from 2004 to 2011 and formed a brotherly relationship before Odom was traded away. They were still in touch, and still shared the same relationship before Kobe’s passing almost a year ago.

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Recently, Odom spoke about Bryant’s death, saying how he was struggling to accept that it happened. “Anybody who was close to him is probably still grieving.” he said. “However, they’re grieving someone so extraordinary, of course, you miss him dearly. Just his aura.

“It’s crazy because when he passed I found myself weeks later just calling and texting his phone because it didn’t feel real. He will want everyone to keep trying to be their best selves and practice the Mamba Mentality.”

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Kobe Bryant: Impacting lives even after his death

Back in 2015, Odom was dealing with an addiction problem. It became so bad that he suffered from kidney failure and heart attacks before ending up in a coma. It was a tough time for him, but Kobe visited him and helped him out of that situation.

He mentioned this in his Instagram post, writing about how Kobe inspired him to join the gym, and how he would have been on another path, if not for the Mamba.

“Like my brother @kobebryant would say “put that work in to be great”,” he wrote. “So in honor of you big brother, I’ll be putting that work in everyday to get back to @thebig3. …Without you here considering what I’m going thru I’d prolly be somewhere sniffing a line.”

 

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A post shared by Lamar Odom (@lamarodom)

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Bryant always pushed his teammates because he wanted them to be the best. Sometimes he would be too hard, but the intentions were always pure. He impacted the lives of his teammates, often by leading by example and showing them the ropes. “Just an extraordinary leader. The way he motivated was different,” Odom said.

Odom arrived at the Lakers in 2004 as a promising player. After playing seven years with Kobe in the purple and gold, he left as a two-time champion.

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Aaron Mathew

1546 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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