Lamar Odom/Photo by Jae C. Hong, Associated Press
Three Clippers – Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul – visited Lamar Odom after they arrived home from China about midnight Wednesday. Griffin and Jordan never went home, immediately flying to Las Vegas upon their return.
Griffin on Saturday morning at practice recalled his initial thoughts upon hearing about Odom, who is improving but remains in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after being found unresponsive Tuesday at a Nevada brothel.
“I felt awful,” Griffin said. “You never want to see a friend go through something like that. It’s not something that’s fun to talk about, but we wanted to be there for support. DJ and I flew to Vegas. When we landed from China, we flew to Vegas, we went and saw him that night. He probably has no idea we were there, but just to be there and just to see him.
“And, hopefully, he knows that there are a lot of guys that love him and want to see him do better and want to see him get better. It’s tough to see something like that, like I said, but just to have a chance to be there was awesome.”
Griffin, Odom, Jordan and Paul were all on the Clippers in 2012-13, the only season in which they played together.
“Pretty close, pretty close,” Paul said, describing his relationship with Odom. “LO’s a great dude and we’ve all been fighting with him.”
Griffin and Paul both spoke about Odom in a positive light.
“LO is just one of those guys who, I mean, when he was on our team he had veteran leadership,” Paul said. “He knew what it took to win. He was very light-hearted. When things got a little bit too serious, he was the one who kept us relaxed and laughed and stuff like that. And then he was just an unbelievable guy.”
Griffin echoed that sentiment when asked if he learned anything from Odom that season, Griffin’s third in the league.
“Yeah, a lot, just kind of the way he went about it and the way he kind of helped us through the ups and the downs of the season,” he said. “I think he was good. He was great for us. And for me, teaching me like you’re going to have bad games, you’re going to have a bad stretch of the season, just to shake it off, stay loose, stay happy.
“And he was great about keeping us happy. So even beyond that, I think he has an impact on everybody he’s around.”