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Reality show is 'once-in-a-lifetime' opportunity for Lamar Odom

Lakers forward gets permission from Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak before agreeing to do TV series with his wife, Khloe Kardashian.

January 05, 2011|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom will have a weekly reality show on E! network with a 'funny, sitcom-ish' feel, Odom said.
Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom will have a weekly reality show on E! network… (Chris Pizzello / Associated…)

Reporting from Phoenix — Lamar Odom wasn't ready to talk about his new reality show.

"Let me change my underwear and I'll be right back," the Lakers forward said as reporters ambled over to his locker before Wednesday's game against the Phoenix Suns.

Odom wanted to change out of civilian clothes and into his Lakers uniform before discussing his upcoming weekly 30-minute show on the E! cable network, perhaps a subconscious wardrobe switch to reassure himself that the team was foremost in his mind, not his new TV deal.

With the word "distraction" routinely tossed around the underachieving Lakers, Odom felt the need to ask permission from Coach Phil Jackson and General Manager Mitch Kupchak before agreeing to do the show, which begins shooting this month.

Jackson and Kupchak consented … with some boundaries.

"There's no access to the toilets and the showers in the locker room, things like that," Jackson said. "Coaches' offices, the video-tape room and [trainer] Gary Vitti taping ankles, those are things that we probably won't be showing."

Fine with Odom, who has been the Lakers' most consistent player this season, averaging almost 16 points and 10 rebounds a game while quietly accepting a return to sixth-man status last week.

"I respect their opinion and what they say and how they feel … but at the end of the day we always talk about how this is life and we have decisions to make," Odom said. "The Lakers make decisions that they need to make and Lamar does the same. This is the life that we live. This is entertainment."

The new show doesn't have a title yet, but Odom and wife Khloe Kardashian will give it a "funny, sitcom-ish" flavor, Odom said.

Jackson said he wasn't concerned about Odom losing focus on the court.

"Lamar usually doesn't get distracted by things that are outside [basketball]," Jackson said. "I know the Kardashians will be very careful of what they do. They've been very respectful. They've kept a cool line with the team and with the use of their show."

Odom has appeared numerous times on the Kardashians' current reality hit, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

He wanted to do a new show because it offered a "once-in-a-lifetime" chance.

"As an athlete, you've got to take advantage of your opportunities because when the ball stops bouncing, it stops bouncing," he said. "For me, this is just an opportunity to kind of expand a little bit and get some other things going."

Odom, 31, is under contract with the Lakers for two more years and $17 million. He said he wouldn't force teammates or team personnel to appear in the show, which will air on Sundays.

"I've got make sure everybody in here is comfortable," he said. "If they want to give me access, fine. If they don't, then fine. I don't want to get in anyone's way so I'll be staying out of everyone's way."

There's one person who definitely won't be on the show.

"I can hardly wait to watch it," Jackson deadpanned, hastily adding, "I won't be on it."

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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