Former NBA player Lamar Odom attended Kanye West's Yeezy Season 3 fashion show/"The Life of Pablo" release party at Madison Square Garden in New York on Thursday, marking his first public appearance since being found unconscious with cocaine in his system at a Nevada brothel in October.
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The Queens, N.Y., native walked in with West himself, reportedly receiving cheers from the New York crowd before taking his seat alongside the Kardashian-Jenner family: his estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian, West's wife, Kim Kardashian, and daughter North, Kourtney Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner.
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Odom, 36, was "nervous" about returning to the public eye, according to E! Online, but felt it was important to attend, both for himself and, apparently, to thank West for contributing to his recovery.
"Kanye invited him to come, and it's a big deal for him to be able to come," Kris Jenner explained to Entertainment Tonight. "I'm excited. For him to have this, you know, this is a milestone for him to be able to travel. So, baby steps. But this is a big one. This is a huge step for him."
Evidently, the music on "The Life of Pablo," which West unveiled during Thursday's MSG fashion show, played a role in Odom's road back to health following a hospitalization after reportedly consuming drugs and alcohol during a several-day stay at a brothel outside in Pahrump, Nev. (Odom was believed to have overdosed, but he wasn't brought up on drug charges after prosecutors said the available evidence "did not prove that he used [cocaine] during his three days in Nye County.") From TMZ:
Sources close to Lamar tell us when he was in Cedars-Sinai hospital ... Kanye religiously showed up to visit and frequently played rough cuts of his new music for Lamar. He started remembering specific lyrics, which was one of the early signs LO's condition was improving.
And from Us Weekly:
West revealed during the family's Thanksgiving 2015 dinner that he and Kim previewed his upcoming album, now named T.L.O.P., to Odom earlier that day. "I'm thankful that Lamar loved my album," West proudly told the table at the time, while his wife added: "We did visit Lamar today, and we played him the new album. And then when I was done I said, ‘Did you like the music?' and he said, 'Loved it.'"
There was a time in the not-too-distant past that it didn't seem certain Odom would even be able to say as many as those two words again. His flight from Los Angeles to New York represents the most recent step in a long journey that began with regaining consciousness and the ability to breathe on his own after three-plus days of unresponsiveness, regaining the ability to get out of bed, reaching a stable-enough status to be able to move from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to continue his treatment, and taking the first actual steps in his recovery.
"He can move around alone, and he can communicate much better. In the beginning, he couldn't talk at all," [a Kardashian] insider told PEOPLE. "He knows how much Khloé has been there for him, and he is so grateful. The therapy can be incredibly frustrating and he has hard moments, but Lamar is a former athlete. He's strong. And he really wants to get better."
He's still likely got a long way to go, but the mere fact that he was able to walk into Madison Square Garden on his own two feet and sit down with his family shows that he's come an awfully long way already over the last three months. Here's hoping the travels continue over a long, healthy and happy life.
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