Lamar Odom, wife Khloe Kardashian to film new reality show
As a member of a team that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and guard Kobe Bryant observed struggled handling off-court distractions, Lakers forward Lamar Odom has so far balanced his celebrity presence with his reality TV star wife Khloe Kardhashian and consistent game performances.
Odom will soon find out whether he can maintain that balance when he and Kardashian begin filming a new reality TV show focusing on their married life. The show, tentatively titled "Khloe & Lamar," is scheduled to film at an undetermined time early this year for E! Entertainment. The eight-episode series will be produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions and Bunim-Murray, Khloe's mother, Kris Jenner, will serve as one of the show's executive producer and the series will feature storylines involving Odom and Kardashian living together as well as Khloe's brother, Rob, becoming a "semi-permanent houseguest," according to a news release. It's also being floated that an episode would address Odom's desire to have children.
"Khloe and Lamar are such a dynamic couple that we just knew we had to give them their own series," E! executive vice president of Lisa Berger said in a statement. "They are fascinating individuals in their own right, and together the duo are a powerhouse. They are funny, dramatic, opinionated, and we intend to capture all this, along with the unvarnished reality of their lives together and apart, since each is constantly followed by their own celebrity spotlight."
Since marrying Kardashian on the eve of Lakers' training camp last season, Odom has expanded his celebrity profile. While Kardashian has appeared with her sisters Kim and Kourtney in "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami," Odom's appeared in several commercials, including one for Taco Bell that aired on Super Bowl Sunday.
Last week Odom remained noncommittal about filming a reality show after US Magazine initially reported he and Khloe begin filming in the spring. (Filming would coincide with the Lakers playing in the NBA playoffs.) "It's something you have to think about and be dedicated to," Odom said on New Year's Eve before the Lakers' 102-98 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. "Everything we do is time consuming. Any job you have, it's a job. I'd want it to be good if I did it."
The Lakers have recently been a part of their own reality show of sorts with multiple subplots. They have lost four of their last seven games. The team has shared nuanced views about Bryant's scoring mentality. A Yahoo! sports report surfaced that Ron Artest confronted Jackson at a recent practice for publicly criticizing his performances and goofy persona. An ESPN report indicated three Laker players experienced issues with their iPhone alarm clock, causing forward Pau Gasol to miss Sunday's morning shootaround before a Lakers' 104-85 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. And Jackson went through a back-and-forth with Dallas owner Mark Cuban, who said Jackson served as a "boy toy" for girlfriend Jeanie Buss, the Lakers' executive vice president.
Still, Jackson said he's measured only performance as an indicator of whether an off-court activity -- such as a reality show -- is a distraction.
"I had Dennis Rodman," Jackson said, referring to when he coached Rodman during his stint with the Chicago Bulls from 1996 to 1998. "What can you say? Dennis would go on a bender for two days and then come back and play a great game because he knew how to get ready for a ball game even though he needed to blow off steam, or whatever he did. I don't know what he was doing."
So far, Odom has shown he knows what he's doing. Since playing this summer for Team USA in the 2010 FIBA World Championships, Odom's 15.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game reflect consistency, peak conditioning and a possible NBA All-Star berth. The public will soon find out whether he's able to handle another project.
"People that live and work in L.A., we're all brands," Odom said last week. "That's just a way that a person would go about building a brand."
-- Mark Medina
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