CHICAGO -- Like many within the NBA community, Pau Gasol is hoping Lamar Odom can make a full recovery after being found unconscious in a Nevada brothel on Tuesday.
Gasol, who played with Odom as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, said Thursday the Odom situation "breaks his heart."
"It's really sad," Gasol, now a member of the Chicago Bulls, said after Wednesday's preseason loss to the Detroit Pistons. "Really, really sad for all of us that know him and care about him and been around him. Really sad. It's been a difficult day for me personally, [to] find out about his situation. It's really tough."
Gasol, who played with Odom from 2007 to '11, acknowledged the updates he has received from people with knowledge of the situation have not been good.
"I got some updates today and they weren't good," Gasol said. "It was an emotional day for me. I'm just trying to keep it together for now and hopefully he'll come back and he'll recover well. But right now from what I've heard it's a difficult situation that he's finding himself in. So we'll see how it unravels, but it's just really sad that a person with that type of a heart and talent has gone through so much. To get to this point I'm sure he's gone through a lot of things these last few years. So [the situation] breaks my heart."
Gasol said he enjoyed his time with Odom in Los Angeles, forging a strong connection.
"We had a very special bond," Gasol said. "We played with each other a lot, we finished most games or all games together. We were versatile and unselfish, it was fun. It was really fun to play and we had an incredible respect for each other and we just played so well together and with that team -- it's just difficult [today]. It really is. It's really hard."
Gasol, who won two championships during his time with the Lakers, was open about how much he enjoyed playing with Odom over the years.
"A great teammate," Gasol said of Odom. "Full of joy. A guy that you want to have in your locker room. Unselfish. An incredible guy. I had a lot of memorable moments with him. That's why it's just so hard this situation, and to see him at this point fighting for his life."
Gasol said he had struggled to stay in touch with Odom in the last few years as his former teammate dealt with various issues in his life.
"It's been hard," Gasol said. "It's been hard to be in touch with him. It's been hard to reach [him]. He's gone through very difficult times. I know from people, from teammates that have been able to get in touch with him or seen him at times. So it's just a very, very sad and difficult situation."