Former NBA star Lamar Odom wakes up, talking with family

Posted at 3:27 PM, Oct 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-17 15:27:27-04

Former NBA star Lamar Odom woke up and spoke for the first time since he was found unresponsive at a brothel in Nevada, sources say.

Odom was hospitalized Tuesday after he was found unconscious at the Love Ranch, where he had been holed up since Saturday.

After being unresponsive for days, Odom said “hi” to his estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian, a source with knowledge of the situation said Friday.

It was unclear whether he remained conscious or how long he was awake.

Odom’s college coach, Jim Harrick, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Kardashian told him she reached down to Odom on Friday and told him she loved him. Odom blinked, he said.

“He’s awake now,” Harrick said. “So that’s probably the most encouraging news we’ve had since it all started.”

Odom is using a mask to breathe and has serious damage to his vital organs, his former mother-in-law, Kris Jenner, told “Access Hollywood.”

‘Tiny bit’ of improvement

A source close to the situation told CNN on Friday the 35-year-old improved a “tiny bit” during his third night at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center.

Odom “got a tiny bit better — emphasis on tiny — and he was responsive in the middle of the night for a moment,” the source said.

Little is known about what left him unresponsive at the brothel in Crystal, where he was found Tuesday, three days after he checked in.

Most of the information has come from Dennis Hof, owner of the Love Ranch, where the former basketball player was found.

Hof told CNN’s Michael Smerconish on Saturday that Odom was “in a good frame of mind” when he was transported to the brothel last weekend, adding that he ate and slept well once there.

“He picked a couple of girls, and he had the time of his life,” Hof said.

Opinion: What happened to Odom?

Drugs and money

In three days at the brothel, Odom spent $75,000, which guaranteed two women would “take care of any of his needs,” Hof earlier told CNN’s sister network HLN.

Employees told 911 dispatchers that Odom used cocaine on Saturday — his first day at the brothel — though Hof insisted Saturday that this drug use happened when he was partying early that morning in Las Vegas but before he’d arrived at the Love Ranch.

“I’m going to protect my business, and I’m not going to let the world say that Lamar was doing a lot of drugs in my place,” he told CNN’s Smerconish, insisting his brothel has “zero tolerance” for illicit drugs. “Because it makes him look bad, and he wasn’t doing that.”

A woman said she also saw him take 10 herbal supplement tablets over three days.

The brothel’s employees said when they found him, Odom was lying in bed on his side with a pinkish fluid coming from his mouth and nose.