Graham travels to Los Angeles to interview 2-time NBA champion Lamar Odom. The former Laker shares details about his difficult upbringing, his battle with several addictions and the lessons he hopes to pass along to others. Plus, Odom and Graham shoot hoops at the famous Venice Beach basketball courts.
Lamar Odom got elbowed in the face, he still has the mark to prove it. As he was trying to recover in the moment, he heard Ron Artest coming from two courts over. Lamar said Ron could be hard to get to know, but once he was on your side, you had his support.
Pat Riley referred to Lamar Odom as the next Magic Johnson. Odom knew the Miami Heat was the team to be with, partially due to the family atmosphere, and the work ethic that was part of the culture. Odom says Riley knew how to stretch an inch of talent into a yard, and looked out for him off the court as well. Odom was shocked, but flattered, when he found out he was part of a trade deal for ‘the great Shaquille O’Neal.’
Lamar Odom says that it is faith alone that saved his life. When the LA Lakers traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks, it destroyed him mentally. It happened during the lock-out season, and around the same time as the death of his cousin. The trade brought up grief from the death of his son, and Lamar struggled with depression. He leaned on faith, and reached to his family for comfort. Odom suffered 12 strokes and 6 heart attacks as a result of a drug-overdose, which he refers to as an “accident.”. Doctors say he was a walking miracle, and Odom says that is because of his faith.
Lamar Odom and LA Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant came from very different backgrounds, but Odom respected Kobe’s ‘never lose’ mentality. Odom credits Kobe for helping him grow as a player.
Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles 6 weeks after this interview was recorded.
Lamar Odom admits he was in an emotional part of his life when he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. He admits that he wasn’t playing to his best, but still didn’t appreciate owner Mark Cuban’s ‘antics.’ Odom recalls an incident where Cuban kicked him, and his teammate Vince Carter. However, Odom says he wishes he had been in a better headspace when he played for Cuban, acknowledging there is a lot he could have learned from the owner.
Lamar Odom’s father experienced trauma, from serving in Vietnam, to the murder of his own dad. Odom says this contributed to his father’s difficulty overcoming addiction, he only felt worthy when he had heroin in his pocket. Odom prays his children won’t suffer from the same disease. Plus, Odom opens up about hating his father for leaving, but still wanting that love.
Lamar Odom was the ‘baby’s baby’ in the family, and while he enjoyed being spoiled he says he is paying for it now: he doesn’t know how to cook, make a bed, or wash clothes. Odom also discusses the time when his mom got a job as a corrections officer at Rikers Island. His mother died when Odom was only 12 years old, and her last words to him were to be kind to everyone. He sought solace in basketball.
Lamar Odom was so talented as a basketball player, that he never had to apply himself at school. Someone who had a stake in his future always cleared the way for him, including having someone else taking his SAT. Then, he lost his scholarship to the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and had to reassess who really had his best interest at heart. Plus what he did that made him worry about his grandmother’s reaction.
Lamar Odom says he must have been particularly vulnerable when he wrote his book, “Darkness to Light.” Even though it is true, he doesn’t want his kids to read it, and is concerned it could impact his career in basketball going forward.
Lamar Odom says he not only felt physical effects from his 2015 accident but a severe cognitive decline as well. He had to relearn how to walk, and things that came naturally to him on the court no longer did. He struggles to reminisce about fun moments in his life, calling himself the ‘poster child for Alzheimer’s.’
Lamar Odom discusses how addiction, including addiction to sex, has kept him separate from his family. Odom says there was a time when he put sex above breathing, above life, and it caused trouble with his then partner, Khloé Kardashian. Now, he is focusing on being present, and he and his current fiancée are waiting until marriage.
Lamar Odom says that the night he fell into a coma, he didn’t do any drugs, but was told he overdosed. Doctors told his loved ones he wouldn’t make it, but Odom credits divine intervention in saving him. But the road from that moment was difficult, he couldn’t walk, or talk, or go to the bathroom. His recovery was made in baby steps, and humbling for the athlete. He feels he is still recovering, especially mentally. On one thing he is clear, he would ‘be a fool’ to credit anyone from saving him but God. He does acknowledge the support, though, of his ex-wife Khloé Kardashian.
Lamar Odom says that fatherhood allows him to continue to try to be the best version of himself. He wants for his kids the same as he wants for himself, love and security, and a strong relationship with God. Plus, Odom talks about the financial goals he has for his life.
Lamar Odom had a talented rapper on his side when Jay-Z told him he should invest in real estate instead of music. A couple million dollars later, Odom says he wished he would have taken Jay-Z’s advice. Odom also examines his worst financial decision, buying 100 bottles of Moet Rose at a Miami club, and offers words of wisdom to his younger self.
Lamar Odom and show host Graham Bensinger travel to the iconic Venice Beach basketball courts for a friendly game of “P-I-G,” which goes just how you’d expect. Odom gives Graham some basketball pointers and discusses where he’d like to play again if given the opportunity.