Sportswriters debate whether reality show with Kardashian is distraction to Lakers’ Odom

By Cam Martin 

Los Angeles Times sportswriter Bill Plaschke wrote Tuesday that Lamar Odom’s reality show with wife Khloe Kardashian is basically emasculating. From the decision to place her name first in the title of “Khloe & Lamar” to the show’s portrayal of Odom (gasp!) losing arguments with his wife, the entire exercise is a disservice to the NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Plaschke wrote.

“It’s raw, it’s painful, it sometimes shows Odom as being even softer than the reputation of Pau Gasol and, as a motivational tool, it stinks.”

(Who uses reality television as a motivational tool? For fame and wealth, yes. But to motivate themselves? That’s new on me.)

Plaschke said the show, which is airing on E!, could prove to be a distraction to Odom and the Lakers.

“On the night of the show’s Sunday debut, Odom barely shows up in the loss to Oklahoma City, scoring seven points with three rebounds. The following Sunday before the airing of the second episode, Odom arrived late for the Lakers’ first postseason game, then slogged his way to 10 points and just one rebound in the loss to New Orleans.”

Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk says Plaschke is reaching.

“Plaschke may not like reality television, but he tries to pull out small sample examples to bolster his point when the larger picture shoots him down.

The Lakers went 17-1 while the reality show was being filmed and Lamar Odom kept playing well enough that he put a stranglehold on winning his first ever Sixth Man of the Year award, following the best season of his pro career.

Then the show went on the air and the Lakers didn’t play as well. The problem there is a basic causation vs. correlation problem – just because two things happen at the same time doesn’t mean one caused the other. There is a long history of the Lakers in the last three years going through stretches of playing poorly for weeks at a time. None of those were reality show related, they were Lakers psyche related.”