O.J. Simpson says he had such a tough battle with COVID last year, he was worried he was going to die ... explaining the virus made it nearly impossible for him to catch his breath.
The former NFL superstar went in-depth with The Athletic about his 2020 battle with coronavirus ... saying things at one point got so dire, death crossed his mind.
"When I had COVID, I almost couldn't get out of bed," Simpson said in a lengthy interview. "I made it to my balcony, trying to breathe. I couldn't catch my breath."
Simpson said his symptoms were so bad, he actually spoke with his children about final arrangements.
"I felt vulnerable," 74-year-old Simpson said, "and for the first time thought I might be near the end."
Simpson was able to recover ... and said he's grateful for it, explaining he's loving his life out of prison in Las Vegas.
Simpson said he golfs "four or five days a week" now, and bragged about how he's still treated like a celebrity.
"People want to buy me drinks," he said. "I'm always taking pictures with people. Ladies hug me."
"People truly care for me," he continued. "You don’t know who truly cares about you until you've gone through some serious stuff, and I've gone through serious stuff."
"The media won’t say it, but that is my life. I'm living a good life now."
Simpson, though, did say his life now includes far less trips to Los Angeles.
He explained he's troubled by being in the city because he's concerned Nicole Brown Simpson's killer could still be there.
"People may think this is self-serving, but I might be sitting next to whoever did it," Simpson said. "I really don't know who did this."