Lamar Odom has survived tremendous amounts of adversity in his life, and he’s all too familiar with putting up a fight.
The former Los Angeles Lakers star and two-time NBA champion will now be bringing that fighting attitude inside a boxing ring.
Odom announced that he’s signed a deal with Celebrity Boxing Entertainment and will be engaging in a boxing match June 12 at the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City.
Celebrity Boxing creator and CEO Damon Feldman said the 6-foot, 10-inch tall Odom will be matched against another big-name celebrity. It is not yet clear if Odom will take part in a professional bout or if the match will be an exhibition.
“I'm really excited. Who do you guys think I should fight?” Odom said in a video released Wednesday, with a pen in his hand and presumably a contract sitting in front of him.
The 41-year-old Odom is a 14-year NBA veteran and Sixth Man Award winner who was drafted by the Clippers in 1999 and retired from the league in 2013. The New York native averaged over 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists per game throughout his career.
Odom has battled through years of substance abuse and survived a near-death experience due to a drug overdose at a Nevada brothel in 2015. Odom said he had six strokes and 12 heart attacks while he was in a coma.
“I have horrible memory loss,” Odom told People in a May 2019 interview. "And my long-term memory was affected as well. Athletically, my balance is poo. I was shocked how weak my body became.
“[The overdose] made me realize I couldn’t live the way I’d been living. Life is too good.”
Odom’s last athletic reboot was a short-lived one in July 2019. He attempted a basketball comeback with Ice Cube's Big3 League but Odom was not "up to it from a competitive standpoint."
Odom joins former NBA star and three-time Slam Dunk champion Nate Robinson as the latest basketball player who wants to try his hand at boxing. It didn’t end well for Robinson, however. In November, the two-sport athlete was on the receiving end of a highlight reel knockout to the hands of Jake Paul.
Celebrity Boxing promises the following proposition on its verified Instagram channel: “We make you famous, or get you your 16th minute [of fame].”
Rapper Aaron Carter is scheduled to fight in a separate bout as well on the card.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com