Nickelodeon's 2017 Kids' Choice Awards - Red Carpet

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“Cocaine is a hell of a drug.”

Lamar Odom reaffirms the infamous Rick James line in his open letter penned for the Players’ Tribune.

He recounts waking up in a Nevada hospital after overdosing on cocaine at a Las Vegas brothel. Odom remembers waking up to see Khloe Kardashian, his ex-wife, by his bedside alongside a doctor saying, “Mr. Odom, you’ve been in a coma for the last four days. Do you understand it’s a miracle that you’re here. We didn’t think you were going to make it.”

The former Laker goes on to talk about growing up in Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., and his introduction to sports through pee wee football. His late mother was his biggest champion and attended most of his games before being diagnosed with colon cancer. He died when he was just 12.

He remembered the last words she ever said to him.

“Be nice to everybody…” she said.

His grandmother raised him until she passed away when he was 24 years old, and that’s when he decided to try cocaine for the first time.

“When I did coke, I felt good for a minute. I stopped having so much anxiety. I didn’t think about the pain. I didn’t think about death. So I kept doing it more and more, but I was still in control. It wasn’t like an everyday thing.”

The former Sixth Man of The Year explains that with each tragedy— like the death of his son— how his drug abuse worsened.

Read the rest of Odom’s poignant story here.