Lamar Odom, Khloe Kardashian to star
PHOENIX -- Can't get enough Lamar Odom from watching him play 82 games a year with the Los Angeles Lakers?
Soon you'll be able to tune in to see what happens when he goes home, too.
The E! television network announced Wednesday that production for a new reality TV series starring Odom and wife Khloe Kardashian will begin filming sometime this month.
The series, consisting of 30-minute episodes, has a working title of "Khloé & Lamar," and will likely make its debut on the air sometime in April, according to Odom.
"It's an opportunity," Odom said Wednesday before the Lakers game against the Phoenix Suns. "I don't know if 'excited' is the right word, but it should be fun. It should be a lot of fun. I look forward to doing it and seeing the outcome."
When asked if the show could end up as fodder for teammates to poke fun of him at practice, Odom shrugged off any problems the additional spotlight could create.
"I got married on TV, bro," Odom said. "So, it's part of what my family and my wife's family do for a living. I expect it to be good."
Odom described the theme of the show to be "funny, sitcomish, entertaining. ... Kids should be able to watch."
Don't expect Lakers head coach Phil Jackson to be included among the show's audience.
"I can hardly wait to watch it," deadpanned Jackson, before saying that he has no plans to watch it, nor has he watched Odom during any of his guest appearances on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."
Odom, who was on the fence about doing the show when questioned by reporters on New Year's Eve, said he consulted with Jackson and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak before making the decision to move forward with the project.
"I respect their opinion and what they have to say and how they feel," Odom said. "I should, they took care of me [with his last Lakers contract]. But, at the end of the day we always talk about life and we have decisions to make. The Lakers, they have decisions they need to make. Lamar is the same."
Said Jackson: "Lamar usually doesn't get distracted by things that are outside [of basketball]. 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 said his home life that will be portrayed on the show and his life as a player on the back-to-back champion Lakers are "two separate entities," but allowed that the show's cameramen could capture some overlap.
"I have to make sure that everybody [on the Lakers] is comfortable and I'll ask them," Odom said. "If they want to give me access, fine. If they don't, fine. I don't want to get in anyone's way. ... I don't want to make guys uncomfortable with the camera around them."
Jackson said the show's cameras would have access to the locker room during the team's pregame media availability ("Just like any other show like Dateline," he added) but that certain parts of the Staples Center and the Lakers practice facility would be off-limits.
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"There's no access to the toilets and the showers in the locker rooms, things like that," Jackson said, also mentioning coaches' offices, the video tape room and the training room as other no-film zones.
Jackson said it is not his place to limit a player's options away from the court.
"As far as their career and possible extraneous things that could happen, then you say you can't do that, you can't do commercials, so where does it end?" Jackson said.
A press release distributed Wednesday by Ryan Seacrest Productions and Bunim-Murray Productions revealed that Robert Kardashian, Khloe's younger brother, would also be featured prominently in the show as he embarks on his career in the music industry, out from under the roof of the house of his parents -- mother Kris and stepfather Bruce Jenner.
"Khloe and Lamar are such a dynamic couple that we just knew we had to give them their own series," said Lisa Berger, executive vice president of entertainment programming for E!. "They are fascinating individuals in their own right, and together the duo are a powerhouse. They are funny, dramatic, opinionated, and we intend to capture all this, along with the unvarnished reality of their lives together and apart, since each is constantly followed by their own celebrity spotlight."
Odom said he has seen a spike in his popularity ever since his marriage to Khloe on the eve of Lakers training camp last season.
"It's a big difference in the demographic of people," Odom said. "It's not just the average sports fan. My wife and my family have a whole different set of fans and because of the show and because of her and her family I've become one of the favorites. It's pretty cool. It comes with the territory."
The 31-year-old Odom, who has appeared as a guest star in TV shows "Entourage" and "Arli$$" in the past as well as the movie "Van Wilder," said the show is an opportunity to open up different employment avenues after his playing career is finished.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Odom said. "As an athlete, you got to take advantage of your opportunities. When the ball stops bouncing, it stops bouncing. It's an opportunity to kind of expand a little bit, get some other things going. Another opportunity, another look."
With a coy smile on his face, Odom added that the show could end up bringing him back to basketball in the long run.
"It's probably going to help me get a [general manager] job one of these days," Odom said.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.