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Lamar Odom's marriage to Khloe Kardashian and busy schedule helped ensure his focus for 2010-2011 season

Lamar_khloe

Everywhere he turned, Lakers forward Lamar Odom met a flood of cameras following his way.

Once the doors to the Lakers' practice facility opened following a recent practice, a camera crew stationed itself on the sideline of the court, zooming in and focusing on Odom shooting. The team soon huddled up and then went their separate ways, signifying the end of practice. But the camera crew's work for Odom's reality television show -- debuting April 10 at p.m. on E! titled "Khloe and Lamar" -- was just beginning.

Odom met the assembled group of reporters that cover the Lakers on a daily basis, but their cameras weren't the only ones filming the scene after Monday's practice. Behind them stood various members of Odom's reality show crew, featuring camera men with extended microphones eager to pick up any morsel of Odom interacting with the media, whether it's a group interview or a one-on-one conversation. The same scene remained present in the locker room before the Lakers-Mavericks game last week where anything Odom uttered with a teammate, reporter or team official immediately prompted the cameramen to capture the scene.

The atmosphere provides the perfect symbolic image of his two worlds merging, his life as a Laker and his life as a husband to reality television star Khloe Kardashian. On the court, Odom's been the Lakers' most consistent player and proves in the running for NBA's Sixth Man of the Year honor, fulfilling that jack of all trades role both as a starter and as a reserve by posting a third-best 14.6 points on 53.3% shooting and a third-best 8.7 rebounds per game. Off the court, Odom and Kardashian are gearing up for Sunday's premiere of their reality show and hosted a cocktail party and red carpet event earlier this week where they promoted their unisex fragrance, "Unbreakable," at The Redbury, a Hollywood hotel. Odom's worlds aren't colliding like the famed  George Costanza from "Seinfeld" once feared and making the Lakers star feel stretched thin. His worlds are meshing and making him feel more balanced.

"I'll be honest with you, it was one of the main motivating factors I've had in a long time in my career," Odom said at The Redbury. "To do this, I couldn't let my play slide."

Doing that would've fit an all-too convenient storyline. Odom had long impressed the Lakers with his versatility, his inviting personality and willingness to fit in any role, but he also frustrated the Lakers into even considering dumping his salary during the 2010 off-season because of his inconsistency. Even on the heels of proving a large part in carrying Team USA to its first FIBA World Championship this summer for the first time since 1994, there were valid concerns that his heavy schedule would lead to burnout, a sentiment that yours truly expressed and some close to the team even echoed. 

Instead, Odom credited his stint with Team USA for preparing him for the mental fatigue that would come ahead. But that didn't stop him from playing with full intensity, so much so that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson singled him out as the only player on the Lakers to appear in training camp in full shape. Usually Jackson spends training camp needling Odom about his work ethic and conditioning, but not this time. Odom's leadership, hustle plays and dependable 7.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game on Team USA gives him enough consideration to make the 2012 Olympic roster, at least enough for Coach Mike Krzyzewski to rave about Odom on the phone to Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, and it easily carried over with the Lakers. Odom's always provided that presence for the Lakers ever since they acquired him in 2004 as part of the Shaquille O'Neal trade, but he's now doing it on a consistent basis. 

"When Lamar took on this task, we thought, 'Oh my gosh, I hope he can do it,' " acknowledged Kris Jenner, Khloe's mother. "He's having the biggest and best year of his life. ... I'm baffled by how he's doing it all."

Those that remain skeptical will likely point to his recent two-game stretch where he's scored 19 points on eight-of-19 shooting with six turnovers, considering the camera production crew filmed Monday's practice. But that would overlook the fact production also took place during the Lakers' 110-82 victory March 31 against Dallas where he posted 16 points on six-of-10 shooting and 11 rebounds. It would also overlook that sample size doesn't represent the consistency he's showcased all season.

Prior to that contest, it showed how Odom's taken everyone along for the ride. Coaches, teammates, team officials and reporters, including yours truly, were asked to sign consent forms that E's television crew can use our footage should it make the cut during the editing process for the eight-episode series. As one player recently joked, "You don't want to be that one guy who refuses to sign the waiver."

Instead, the Lakers are using it as an opportunity to express their affection by the team's most beloved star in the locker room. Teammates have razzed him about his unisex fragrance ad, so much that Jackson inserted the commercial into film breakdowns, a routine he's kept over the years to keep his players from getting bored. He's received similar digs to the billboards on recent display over various parts of Los Angeles. And Jackson even joked he hopes Odom will learn how to swim in his show, an obvious swipe at an episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" that featured him struggling in that department.

"We rip him a lot about it," Bryant said with a smile. "But we're all proud of him and happy for him."

Odom demonstrated perfectly how he's remained down to earth following Monday's practice, something rarely seen or heard in Hollywood. With all the cameras following his every move, Odom eventually found his own time away from the production crew. Every week, Odom gets his bald head and beard trimmed by his personal barbershop in the media workroom outside of the Lakers' practice court. Even on the most hectic day, Odom informally shot the breeze with a handful of nearby reporters about basketball with zero hint of pretentiousness or hidden agenda. Hours later, Odom couldn't help but laugh when seeing me on site at The Redbury, where he and Khloe talked about their fragrance, upcoming reality show and hopes to have a child. I had just seen a small glimpse of his hectic schedule.

So how does he do it? Odom motioned his head toward Khloe, whom he described as his "coach," a storyline she felt reluctant in supporting.

"People say, 'Oh he's been doing so well since he married you,' but if he was doing bad, they would say, 'He [stinks] because of you," Khloe said. "I have nothing to do with whether he plays well or doesn't play well. I think Lamar is an amazing basketball player and I think he always had it in him, but I think he always had things on his shoulders. I'm the wife and I'll take care of whatever. I only want him to take care of basketball and I'll handle the rest. I don't think he's ever had that before."

But here's one thing he's already had: the cameras and attention around him. Odom's always been equipped to handle that part. Now with the balance in his life and laser-beam focus, Odom's also equipped to handle the extra responsibilities.

"Playing here and for this team has probably prepared me for more than anything," Odom said.

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom debut their unisex perfume "Unbreakable" at Perfumania in Orlando, Fla., in February. Credit: Roberto Gonzalez / Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (28)

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The fragrance should have been named as "Sixth (man award makes) Sense."

I've noticed LO and Khloe look alike....

Repost:

OMG, a Friedman award excuse me for all the errors, I just mentioned the name of an old friend Rick F. and I got one. I think there are more other deserving posts out there like that of my good friend, LakerTom. Anyway, thank you MM and others for this incidental honors.

What will happen tonight? Which Laker team will show up? It is about time to get back to winning. First, they need to secure the 2nd position; Second, they need to get back to the habit of winning to establish momentum all the way to the playoffs; Third, they have to strike fear on their future opponents like a boxer who'd finish the job quick before being hit by a lucky punch and Fourth, for the sake of their fans who have weak hearts and quick temper, the players may not care about these last few games but the fans do.


@MM ... Great article on Lamar. What really ruins it is that every time you refresh the page you have to listen to the Cars.com video that automatically loads and you cannot stop or even pause. I know you wanted to show the commercial for Lamar and Khloe’s show but this is really irritating. Oh, hell, if I post this, I will then have to listen to that damn commercial again. New thread please.
............................................
TOM


Lamar is smiling again after losing his infant child few years ago. I heard from Kloe on 710 that the Reality TV will end this Sunday. She looks at Lamar first before going on video, if he is not comfortable with the taping, then they omit that particular moment.

I enjoy Lamar this season and the dream that he becomes a combination of Magic and Scottie (on a smaller scale) is coming close to happening. He just need to brush some kinks out there like: improving FT%, a formidable defense in the post and reducing T/O's. It requires a lot of efforts, more dedication in practicing some passes and a little tweak on his thrust to the hoop by avoiding forcing through, maybe by stepping on the brakes earlier or change those brake pads. lol!

Another thing, Lamar does not need the 6th man award. It will come to him in a silver platter if he just focus on his game. There are many players out there who all kinds of awards like MVP of the year, MVP at the ASG, 6th man, best defensive etc. etc., how many have gold medal at the Fiba and two NBA bling bling plus Kloe. Nada, so I say don't chase the awards, let the award chase Lamar.

Laker Tom - That's irritating. I'm going to link the preview to the show instead


@KOBEMVP888 .... LOL. While I do realize that the last four games of the practice season are merely practice, the next three games are perfect opportunities to send a message to potential playoff opponents and winning out the season will lock up HCA against either Boston or Miami. That’s also what I believe will be on the minds of the Lakers players as they head for the playoffs.
............................................
TOM


@MM ... Thanks. And sorry to bother you with such mundane complaints. I forget you are a one-man team. I shouldn’t have even bothered you about it and just turned off the sound. My bad.
............................................
TOM

LT

All "messages" will be long forgotten by tip-off for Round 1, Game 1 of the playoffs for ALL teams!

Am I the only person who thinks a unisex cologne is retarded?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!


@KOBEMVP888 ... “All ‘messages’ will be long forgotten by tip-off for Round 1, Game 1 of the playoffs for ALL teams!”
...
We will have to agree to disagree on this one, Kenny. There is no way that you can convince me that dominating the Blazers, Thunder, and Spurs in the next three games won’t mess badly with the minds of the players on those team, especially the individuals who got dominated. You know they are going to be going all out to send a message to the Lakers that they can beat them. You don’t want to give your opponents any hope or belief that they can stay with you in the playoffs.
...
Basketball is all about matchups and players’ confidence can soar or dive depending upon the matchups. I think Phil and Kobe and the Lakers realize and respect this and will come out tonight loaded for bear. Crush them from start to finish and make them seriously doubt that they can beat us in a series. The next three games can totally undermine and destroy other teams’ confidence.
............................................
TOM

Jon K - I agree that Lamar's fragrance is tacky. But that's how he's branding himself. As he said in the video, he doesn't have the name power like Kobe to have his own shoe line. As long as he's comfortable in his own skin and can take the jokes in stride, I'm fine with it.

Laker Tom - Don't apologize. I was saying the car ad was irritating, not your annoyance by it.

"We will have to agree to disagree on this one, Kenny. There is no way that you can convince me that dominating the Blazers, Thunder, and Spurs in the next three games won’t mess badly with the minds of the players on those team, especially the individuals who got dominated. You know they are going to be going all out to send a message to the Lakers that they can beat them. You don’t want to give your opponents any hope or belief that they can stay with you in the playoffs.
...
Basketball is all about matchups and players’ confidence can soar or dive depending upon the matchups. I think Phil and Kobe and the Lakers realize and respect this and will come out tonight loaded for bear. Crush them from start to finish and make them seriously doubt that they can beat us in a series. The next three games can totally undermine and destroy other teams’ confidence.
............................................
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | April 08, 2011 at 11:55 AM "

I agree Tom. Just like how Phil said they had the Dallas game circled on the calendar. He knew winning that game was important not just for the sake of regular season record but for preventing Dallas from feeling confident and gaining momentum in facing the Lakers going into a playoff series.

Winning or losing these games won't make or break the season but there's no reason to allow these teams that confidence. If the Lakers aren't planning on taking these games seriously, they should sit the starters out so those teams know they didn't accomplish anything with a win.

Spreaking of DWade and LeBron, they had a chance to join DRoss and the Chicago Bulls in the summer. What if they'd have signed with Chicago? Would it have been something? The Bulls would have MJ era dynasty like periods for years to come.

Posted by: LakerPeace | April 08, 2011 at 10:53 AM


Scary thought!!

COUNTDOWN TO THE REAL SEASON: 4 Practice Games to Go!

Remember the Bulls Joke in the movie Colors:

Two bulls sitting on a grassy knoll. The son says, "Hey Pop. Whatta ya say we run down the hill and f*** one of those cows. Papa bull replies, "No son. Let's walk down and f*** 'em all."

Moral of the story. The Lakers are Walkin' down the regular season path and gettin' ready to f*** 'em all in the Playoffs.

In that mindset, my selection for today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTROvsM6Gls&feature=youtube_gdata_player

And time to get Jack rev'd up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bCBzRm4guc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

KOBE BEAN BRYANT IS "THE LOGO OF PROFESSIONALISM!"

LAMAR ODOM IS "THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE!"

"AND THE BEAST GOES ON..."

I know for the sake of integrity of the game, every team should try to win each game. Nonetheless, it is ALSO interesting to see how the next 3 games' opponents are approaching the games when play against the Lakers:

1. Portland - needs to win to stay for #6 seed (instead of #7) so that they'd face #3 Dallas rather than #2 LA in the first round (I happen to believe the Lakers would think the same.) Portland could easily beat Dallas in the 1st round.

2. OKC - also may want to stay #4 seed (instead of #3) to play against #1 SA insted of facing #2 LA in the 2nd round. Then, it helps OKC to lose a game to LA on Sunday. But, I am not sure if they'd rather face #5 Denver or #6 Portland in the 1st round. Denver and Portland are almost equally tough.

3. SA - can either play desperately to win to revenge their tough loss against LA in SA or resting most of regular players (and play easy) for this possibly meaningless game to them.


Tonight is a MUST win!

Behind every great man is a great woman. Khloe Kardashian Odom has brought stability to Lamar's life which reflects in his contributions to this Lakers team. My vote for the 6th man award!!

So 3 more games till Fisher starts ballin?
I can't wait.

I wish Kobe had had a chance to play w/ one of the greatest defensive
SF's ever. Just imagine what he could have done....

Norcal: Just imagine if Dwade or LBJ had this current lakers team

Posted by: hobbitmage | April 08, 2011 at 09:46 AM


Sure....

We would see Lamar coasting just like last year.
We would see Pau playing like a wimp. Just like this year & last year.
We would see D-Fish going 1-6 just like for the last 3 years.
We would see PJ letting the team figure it out. Just like the last 3 years.
We would see a team w/ 45+ wins. Just like the last 3 years.

.... Isn't it odd how similar it would look?

Hobbit In your eyes kobe can do no wrong whereas he is a jordan imitator. He let his tongue hang out eventhough it is not as lomg as jordan's tongue. But be that as it may. I hope LO is taking care of his kids instead of making bad reality tv shows with his bride. Priest love the kids LO take care of your responsibilities. I would never purchase anything lo or his wife endorses. Neither anything kobe endorses. But wait a minute kobe hardly endorses anything since the eagle case. Bongue bandit!

Yall remember that geico commercial with the pig who squealed weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....weeeeeeeeeeeeee all the way home? Thats hobbit as he swings from kobe's right testicle weeeeeeeeeeee. LOL. For the lakers to repeat kobe must pass the ball to bynum and gasol. kobe cannot take 28 shots to score 30 points. Efficiency is the key.

Posted by: island priest | April 08, 2011 at 12:57 PM

With one slight difference re: tongue. Kobe flicks his tongue just like a mamba.

Hey lebron's mum is detrimental to his career. First she slept with delonte west and derailed lbj's title hunt last season. Now she embarrassed him again by slapping the taste out of some poor valet's mouth. LBJ needs to put his dope fiend mum in detox. Kobe doesn't have a relationship at all with his parents.

Posted by: hobbitmage | April 08, 2011 at 12:44 PM

what about Bynum?

MM - Thanks for the LO thread...

I'm so happy for Lamar...and I think he will have a huge playoffs...Him and Khloe get the butt of alot of jokes in Hollywood and the NBA...but he has confirmed what alot of us suspected...his most consistent and best Laker season this year, has alot to do with his happiness with new wife Khloe...

Khloe: "I only want him to take care of basketball and I'll handle the rest. I don't think he's ever had that before."

You can't really ask anymore from a Basketball Wife...

Mark Medina,

I miss the "Out of my way, Saturn!" Odom.

He's been replaced by the Reality TV/unisex cologne-wearing Odom.

{Sigh}

Well, at least he's playing great ball.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

This couldn't be better drama. And couldn't be played out in any better city by a player on any other sports team. Back on Feb6, when I first started reading about this reality show, the Lakers were 6th in the NBA, getting a bunch of flak for being lazy and unmotivated. Just like the were at the same time last season, both times after having been NBA champions the year before. The playoffs start in a week, and the Lakers? They're now tied for 3rd in the NBA, and having an impressive return to life. From Coach Phil Jackson sarcastically commenting "I can hardly wait to watch it" regarding the reality show, to now inserting Lamar's fragrance into game tape reviews, this is Los Angeles, after all. And with this added drama, after all, the Lakers are looking to win it all once again.

http://www.andOne2.com/2011-02-06/laker-land-variety-show/


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