Former NBA star Lamar Odom wakes up, talks to Khloe Kardashian

Story highlights

NEW: The owner of the brothel Odom went to insists the ex-basketball star wasn't doing illicit drugs

Odom was found unresponsive Tuesday after spending days at the legal brothel in Nevada

After being unconscious for days, Odom said 'hi' to Khloe Kardashian, his estranged wife

CNN —  

Former NBA star Lamar Odom was conscious and able to say “Hi” to estranged wife Khloe Kardashian, a source with knowledge of the situation said Friday.

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 Odom remained conscious or how long he was awake.

Odom’s college coach, Jim Harrick, told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” that Kardashian told him she reached down to Odom on Friday morning and told him she loved him. Odom blinked, Harrick said.

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

Odom is not in a coma and is using a mask to breathe, but has serious damage to his vital organs, the former NBA star’s mother-in-law, Kris Jenner, told “Access Hollywood” on Friday.

‘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 Odom unresponsive at a brothel in Crystal, Nevada, where he was found Tuesday, three days after he checked in.

As his private struggle turns into a public spectacle, a few details have emerged about Odom’s time at the brothel.

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.

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Drugs and money

In three days, Odom spent $75,000 there, which guaranteed two women would “take care of any of his needs,” Hof 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.”

He used cocaine on his first day at the brothel Saturday, employees told 911 dispatchers. On a 911 call played at a news conference, a woman said she also saw him take 10 herbal supplement tablets over three days.

The brothel’s employees also told 911 operators that when they found him Tuesday, Odom was lying in bed on his side with a pinkish fluid coming from his mouth and nose.

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Four teams, 14 seasons

“Lamar being on the show with the spotlight could have gotten to him,” she said.

Odom, 35, won two NBA championships as a forward for the Los Angeles Lakers.

He played for four teams during his 14 seasons in the NBA and won the Sixth Man of the Year Award during the 2010-11 season.

The Los Angeles Clippers drafted him in 1999, and he played for the team for four seasons before signing with the Miami Heat.

After one season in Miami, he was traded to the Lakers, and became a key part of their championship teams in 2009 and 2010.

A year later, he played briefly for the Dallas Mavericks before returning to the Clippers for one season. He has not played in the NBA since then, though the New York Knicks signed him at the end of the regular season last year, only to cut him three months later.

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Famous in-laws

Odom and Khloe Kardashian got married in 2009 – and filed for divorce four years later, citing irreconcilable differences.

In addition to appearing on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” the couple had their own reality show, “Khloe & Lamar.” It lasted for two seasons and 20 episodes.

The two signed divorce papers this year, but the divorce has not been finalized, a source told CNN.

Outside of basketball, Odom has continued making headlines, including for a drunken driving charge two years ago. He pleaded no contest and received three years’ probation.

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CNN’s Greg Botelho contributed to this report.