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Lamar Odom on Kobe Bryant's Sudden Death: 'No Way God Took My Brother This Early'

Among other touching reactions to Kobe Bryant's shocking death, Lamar Odom wrote a emotional tribute to his former Lakers teammate:

“He taught me so many things in life that were necessary on and off the court. On the court, he taught me how to carve out defenses and how to take my time. How to make winning my ultimate goal," Odom wrote. "Off the court, he taught me to sign my own checks lol. Of course anyone who knows my story knows I’ve suffered a lot of loss but the only loss I can compare this to is when I lost my son. Even though our relationship wasn’t father/son, it was more like him being a teacher and me being his brother.”

Odom continued: 

“I’m glad I got to be the ying (sic) to your yang as far as the locker room was concerned. It was my pleasure. I couldn’t even catch my breath today when I heard this news. I just knew if he was in a helicopter crash, he would have been the one to survive. Somehow he would have jumped out and landed on his feet. I’m sitting here thinking about when we would be in practice scrimmaging and you would start the jump ball off with elbowing Sasha in the chest. Like dude, it’s 10:30 in the morning lol.”

The two were teammates between 2004-2011, and Odom was part of the Lakers' NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. 

“No way God took my brother this early,” the 2011 Sixth Man of the Year wrote. “I know I been through my own stuff in life with using drugs and not being good to myself. When I went through that Coma situation if God would have came to me and said we would take me and spare Kobe I would have rather that happened. In honor of my brother I’m up at 4am tomorrow to get to the gym!

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“Gigi gone give you buckets!!!! I love you brother @kobebryant.”

Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. He was 41.

Bryant's 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also with him when the helicopter crashed, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters that nine people were on board the aircraft—the pilot plus eight people.

The helicopter went down in the hills of Calabasas and a fire broke out. The crash occurred around 10 a.m. local time and the fire made it difficult for firefighters and emergency personnel to get to the aircraft, according to the city of Calabasas.Nobody on the ground was hurt.

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