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Lakers' Pau Gasol I Hope Lamar Returns to the NBA

10/2/2013 8:54 AM PDT

L.A. Lakers center, Pau Gasol, is optimistic that Lamar Odom -- his friend and former teammate -- will make a triumphant return to the NBA ... but admits he's still in the dark about what's going on in Lamar's life.

All 7-feet of Pau hit up Katsuya in Hollywood last night ... where he told us he hasn't had any contact with Lamar since he began his crack-fueled downward spiral ... but he still thinks Lamar can come back.

"The main thing is that he's healthy and happy,"  Gasol told us ... but he also knows what it's gonna take for Lamar -- or any pro-baller -- to be competitive in the NBA.

"In my profession," he said, "if you don't train hard, you get off the train." Watch TMZ Sports on FS1 Get the new TMZ Sports app!
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