'Khloe & Lamar': A jinx on Lamar Odom and the Lakers? [Updated]
E! Entertainment's reality series, which centers on Lakers star Odom and wife Khloe Kardashian, is a big hit. But his participation on the show had previously sparked concerns among loyal Lakers fans that Odom was not focused enough on his game due to the show.
Those fears reached a crescendo on sports talk radio around the country Monday, the day after the Lakers' humiliating loss to the Dallas Mavericks, a defeat that swept them out of the playoffs and ended their run for a third straight championship. Odom, regarded as one of the team's most even-handed players, was singled out after the game for his lackluster performance and particularly for his violent foul against Mavericks star Dirk Nowitski near the end of the game.
The loss has put extra heat on Odom, who previously said he found the demands of the show and its filming schedule so intense that he almost quit. However, he had insisted that the show tape during the season because his off-season life was too boring. His play on the Lakers has been a major story of the series.
"I'm all for 'Khloe & Lamar,' but only if his head is in the game," blasted ESPN analyst Marcellus Wiley during his ESPN AM morning radio show, "Max and Marcellus." Jim Rome during his morning radio show on KLAC-AM (570) read a email from a listener who said Odom could now retreat to living off the fame of his wife, who is known for being on other reality shows with her sisters.
And comedian Dane Cook tweeted that at least the Lakers "can now concentrate on their day jobs. Reality television stars."
Khloe Kardashian was apparently feeling a bit of pressure from fans. She tweeted that although the Lakers are " @ their best, so r their 'fans.' Reading my timeline, the so-called 'fans' seem2b only 'fans' when on top."
She has been previously credited with giving Odom a boost: His performance throughout the season has been largely praised, and he recently won the sixth man of the year award, given to the league's top reserve.
But now Kardashian may be lumped in with Jessica Simpson, who was partially blamed for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's mediocre on-field performance during their high-profile romance.
Producers of the show were not immediately available to comment on how the Lakers' defeat and Odom's meltdown would be handled on the series.
What do you think? Did "Khloe & Lamar" help put a slam dunk on the Lakers' playoff hopes?
[Updated at 11 a.m., May 10: A representative for E! said Odom's only direct involvement in "Khloe & Lamar" during the playoffs was a two-hour interview.
Kardashian may address the situation Wednesday during a scheduled appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."]
— Greg Braxton
Photo: Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom sits dejected on the bench during the Lakers' loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals. Credit: Wally Skalji / Los Angeles Times