The NBA family is in shock this morning after it emerged Lamar Odom, former Sixth Man of the Year, had been found unconscious in a legal brothel and is in a critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital.
Since the news broke on Tuesday evening, Odom, a two-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, has received messages of support from throughout the basketball community.
Kobe Bryant, though, went a step further when he heard the tragic news, taking himself out of a Lakers' preseason game to make his way to Odom's hospital bedside.
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With Kobe having left the Lakers' warm up game in Vegas against the Sacramento Kings in the third quarter, the Lakers initially said the veteran had suffered a leg contusion.
In reality, according to Los Angeles Daily News Lakers reporter Mark Medina, the Black Mamba had taken leave to go and visit his former teammate at the nearby hospital.
Medina also revealed that Lakers general manager Mitck Kupchak had accompanied Bryant on the visit. The Los Angeles franchise's plane home after the game was delayed by as much as two hours as a result.
It is often said that Kobe is something of an isolated, selfish figure within the NBA community.
His actions last night, though, rushing to visit a former teammate at his time of need, deserve much respect.
Odom won titles alongside Kobe at the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, and several other members of the current Lakers franchise have offered their own words of support, including Metta World Peace and head coach Byron Scott:
"Our heart and thoughts and prayers are with Lamar and his family and I wish him all the best That’s obviously something you don’t want to hear before the game." said Scott.