Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
In the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” NBA champion Lamar Odom slides through to kick it with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. A native of Queens, New York, Odom gained notoriety as one of the most touted high school basketball players in the country, earning a scholarship to the University of Rhode Island before leaving after one season and being selected with the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft.
Spending his early years in the league with the Los Angeles Clippers, Odom played for the Miami Heat for one season before being traded to the Los Angles Lakers and won two NBA championships with them in 2009 and 2010. In addition to being an Olympic medalist, the athlete was also a former NBA Sixth Man of the Year award winner.
For some time, he was also married to Khloe Kardashian, making numerous appearances on the reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” He would later costar alongside his wife in “Khloé & Lamar,” which ran for two seasons on the E! network.
In 2015, Odom made headlines when he was hospitalized after being found unconscious in a Nevada brothel, leading to him seeking treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. Having moved forward with his life, the star has set his eyes on the business sector, with plans to make a foray into the world of virtual reality, among other endeavors. With a successful NBA career behind him, and a legacy of being one of the greatest basketball players to ever come out of New York City, Lamar Odom is a hometown hero with roots in hip hop that run deeper than you may think.
To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from his episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.
1. His Reaction To Kobe Bryant’s Death
The death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna ranks among the most tragic events of 2020, with a number of athletes paying their respects to the late NBA legend. A former teammate of Bryant, Odom shares his reaction to the news of his passing. “That shit was sad. I think him having the funeral at the Staples Center and seeing all of the lives that he touched kinda made it real cause I was still waiting for them to be like, ’Nah, Kobe just wanted to get away with his daughter,’ you know what I’m saying? That shit was so shocking. That shit took the breath out of me, man. That shit fucked me up for real.”
2. If He Plans To Play In The NBA Again
During his interview, Odom, who last played in the NBA during the 2012-2013 season, says he believes that if given the opportunity, he could still contribute to an NBA team. “Facts,” he says when asked if he feels he could still find a place in the league. “If I got in shape. I mean, my body been through a lot though since I survived that assassination attempt, you feel me? But, I feel like I lost some of my natural ability like my ball-handling. But, I think if I worked out enough and got in shape, I feel if I’d catch wreck. To come off the bench, I’m not asking to start [or] play a lot of minutes.”
3. Kobe Bryant’s Run-In With Master P
Master P’s association with the NBA is well-documented, particularly his stints with the Charlotte Hornets and the Toronto Raptors. However, Odom recalls an instance where Kobe wasn’t too fond of the No Limit mastermind’s presence at a Lakers practice. “Kobe is real... how he do things is just one way,” Odom explains. “He came into practice, we’re practicing... I wouldn’t say he was being disruptive, but I guess Bean didn’t really agree with his energy or the energy that he brought and you could feel it... My memory is so bad, I don’t even really remember if words were exchanged, but [as a] street nigga, I can feel it. I’m uncomfortable now. I just had to... play mayor. He just spoke his mind. Kobe wasn’t even really scared of nothing.”
4. On Investing In Ali Vegas’ Rap Career
During the early aughts, Odom began backing Ali Vegas, a Queens rapper who had amassed a sizable following on the underground circuit. The former baller explains what led him to put his money behind the rising talent, and his aspirations of becoming a bonafide rap mogul. “He’s ill,” Odom says of his initial impression of Vegas. “He’s... different. I thought he could’ve... like Nas and JAY... if you just heard him rap. He’s ill and I just wanted to see him get on, he’s from around the block. I mean, I had the bread at the time. So, I was just like, ‘Fuck it.’ I love music. I wanna be the Puff Daddy of the NBA. That’s what I was thinking.”
5. On Being Advised Not To Invest In A Rapper
During his stint as a Los Angeles Laker, Odom crossed paths with a number of power brokers in rap, one of them being JAY-Z, whom him recalls giving him some sage advice, albeit with a hint of shade. ”I think Kanye West was getting an award somewhere,” he recalls. “I ain’t win no championship yet, so I think this is like 2006. I’m just hungry. I wanna see my man chew these niggas, you know what I’m saying? You know how he talk. ‘You fucking this music shit? Nah, you going that way, we going this way.’ Then, he hit me with the JAY sarcasm shit, like, ‘You should be fucking with Magic and them, you should be fucking with some real estate.’ At the time, Vegas is fresh in my mind. He’s so talented. So, I’m like, ‘Do you really wanna stop?’ And then, another rapper came up to me and was like, ‘This the Reagan era. Don’t nobody get off over here if we don’t say so.’”
6. On His Regrets Investing In The Music Industry
Odom’s imprint, Rich Soil Entertainment, released Ali Vegas’ Generation Gap 2: The Prequel, in 2008, but would fall short of expectations and prove to be a financial failure, which the former mogul addresses during his sit-down. “You want me to keep it a buck,” he asks. “JAY is a billionaire, so me having a $60 million contract and then going through some times were I’m like, ‘Damn, I’m fucked up right now’ and not taking that billionaires advice, I dropped the ball, even if it was $40,000, $60,000; even if it was $1 million.”
7. On Not Reaching His Fullest Potential As An NBA Player
Coming into the NBA, Odom was considered one of the most gifted players of his era with the height of a forward and the ball-handling skills of a guard. However, many pundits feel like he never reached his fullest potential, an assessment the former Sixth Man of the Year agrees with. “That’s like having a bitch give you pussy, feed you, give you bread, but you don’t keep it all the way a hundred with her,” he says of his lack of commitment to the game. “I definitely didn’t. I just took it for granted. and then we go through things in life, like what happened to my body. I couldn’t stop that.”
8. His Feelings Khloe Kardashian
In the aftermath of his marriage to Khloe Kardashian, speculation over whether his association with reality TV’s favorite family took a detrimental toll on him. However, he credits his ex-wife with being there for him during his recovery and treatment for drug addiction. “You’ve been pinned down before, right?” he asks. “The world, life, incarcerated, whatever. So, whenever you’re pinned down in life, whoever fucked with you, you’re gonna fuck with. Whenever you’re going through your roughest times, whoever fucked with you, you’re gonna fuck with, no matter what. Nobody can take that away, add to that. If you were at your worst times and they fucked with you, you’re gonna fuck with them.”
9. His Record-Breaking Night At The Club
Popping bottles in the club is an art that has been mastered by plenty of entertainer. But, Odom made an epic boss move years ago that is still talked about to this day. “It was one football dude,” Odom explains of what sparked the occasion. “We was at Prive. I was at the club with my man Rasual Butler. We’re drinking Moet Rose, that’s what we drink. The football player nigga says, ‘Step your game up.’ I’m like, ‘Damn, nigga, we’re drinking Moet Rose, this what we like. This my nigga from Philly,’ God bless the dead. He with some Spanish niggas. I could tell they were from up top. I’m like, ‘Aight, damn, niggas just came at me like, ‘Step your game up.’ I said, ‘Alright, the Spanish niggas that’s with him, give them twenty-five bottles.’ The nigga that was saying step your game up, the niggas that was sitting next to him, I said, ‘Yo, give them twenty-five bottles of Moet Rose.’ The next twenty-five bottles, I said, ‘Give out to the club.’ The next twenty-five bottles, I said, ‘Bring over here.’ So, that’s seventy-five [bottles]. The next twenty-five bottles, I said, ‘Bring ‘em here. So, that was like a hundred bottles.”