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Lamar Odom improving 'mentally and physically,' family statement says

Lamar Odom improving 'mentally and physically,' family statement says
Lamar Odom checks the scoreboard during a game with the Clippers on Nov. 2, 2012. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Lamar Odom is on the path to recovery.

"To our overwhelming delight, Lamar's courageous improvement continues on the incline in Los Angeles. He is beginning to gradually flourish both mentally and physically," according to a statement issued on behalf of Odom's aunt, JaNean Mercer.

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Odom was recently found unconscious in a Nevada brothel. The former Lakers and Clippers forward survived a coma in a Las Vegas hospital, and has since been transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

"His use of speech has increased and he's more cognitively responsive," continues the statement. "His medical team has executed an aggressive therapy regimen to aid in his progress."

The Lakers, Clippers and extended NBA community at large have been overwhelmingly supportive of Odom, who remains a very popular personality throughout the league.

In the locker rooms of both teams, Odom was considered a valuable teammate and sensitive leader. He won two titles with the Lakers, in 2009 and 2010.

According to Yahoo Sports, Odom's difficult experience has prompted Michele Roberts, the National Basketball Players Assn. executive director, to push for a retirement transition program.

"I want [Odom] to hear from me, a complete stranger, about the unbelievable amount of love that he has and the responsibility he has with this second chance to turn things around," said Roberts. "We look at it as an opportunity to engage in discussion with the players about life after basketball and making sure that a support system will help you avoid those kinds of mistakes."

Odom last played for the Clippers in 2012-13.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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