Lamar Odom Says Kobe Bryant Helped Him Pay Gambling Debt After Scolding Him

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 15, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13:  Former NBA player, Lamar Odom hugs Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers after the game against the Utah Jazz on April 13, 2016 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Former NBA star Lamar Odom recounted how Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant helped him pay back a gambling debt he had incurred.

Appearing on All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Odom was responding to a question about some of the last conversations he had with Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

The discussion begins around the 56-minute mark (warning: NSFW language):

Odom explained how he had been gambling and owed more money than he could afford to absorb. He said he was reluctant to reach out to Bryant but "gathered up the strength and put my pride to the side."

Odom said Bryant "went in" to scold him before indicating he'd have his representatives resolve the matter.

Odom and Bryant were teammates for seven seasons on the Lakers. They helped Los Angeles win back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

Following Bryant's death, the 2010-11 Sixth Man of the Year reflected on his relationship with the Hall of Famer.

"On the court he taught me how to carve out defenses and how to take my time," Odom wrote on Instagram. "How to make winning my ultimate goal. Off the court he taught me to sign my own checks lol. ... Even though our relationship wasn’t father/son, it was more like him being a teacher and me being his brother."