Tag: Kim Kardashian
Read Zach’s New Short Story: Why Did I Buy an Autographed Lamar Odom Basketball at a Charity Auction?”
Browsing the silent auction table at my kid’s Little League baseball charity day, I was prepared to put my money down on all the usual stuff. The $60 restaurant gift certificate that was available for half the price… The one-on-one baseball training sessions with an ex- Major Leaguer for my son… Even the autographed script of the cast of Stranger Things was appealing. But instead, I was drawn to the one seemingly out-of-place item in the auction… An autographed Lamar Odom NBA basketball.
I have never really been a Lamar Odom fan. I thought he was a gifted ballplayer in college and had some incredible years in the NBA – even winning two titles with the Lakers in 09-10 and taking home Sixth man of the Year in 2011… But he never really lived up to his potential. (A few marijuana busts, suspensions and even a weird incident where he disappeared before his final exams at the University of Rhode Island always made him a high-risk player…) However, due to some horrific family tragedies and the fact that he had to play with Andrew Bynum, I was always willing to give Lamar Odom a pass. Yet, I was just never really a fan.
Still, something about a Lamar Odom-autographed basketball was appealing.
Obviously, these days, Lamar Odom is more known for his Kardashian marriage and his drug-fueled exploits at a Las Vegas sex ranch than he is for his fairly respectable basketball career. His now legendary two-week hooker bender, drug coma and relapse made the covers of every tabloid magazine and for a minute, Lamar Odom entered that Charlie Sheen level of debauchery that most celebrities never seem to come back from…
That’s when I figured out exactly why I wanted that basketball.
I love celebrities and especially athletes who PARTY. I loved Sheen’s Two and a Half Men meltdown. I rooted for Josh Hamilton, worshipped the entire 1986 New York Mets cocaine-fueled roster and I may be the only person who truly respects Johnny Depp’s savagely impressive admission that he spends 30,000 dollars a month on wine. When Lamar Odom was found in that brothel in Vegas, I was immediately a bigger fan. Not because he had divorced a Kardashian, but that he bounced back from it with a massive orgiastic adventure that average men living average lives can only dream of… Somewhere, deep down inside, every man in America looked at Lamar Odom’s drug-and-sex-capades and thought to themselves, “Oooh, that sounds fucking fun.”
My winning bid was for $75.00. Online, Lamar Odom autographs range from $8.00 basketball cards to $399.99 official game used basketballs in designer glass cases, so I basically paid market price. This ball is not game used, but it is in a case that probably runs for about $50.00 retail. It looks great even though the only certificate of authentication is in the form of a handwritten Post-it Note sadly just reading, “Lamar Odom.”
One question remained… Who donated the ball to the Little League charity in the first place? Was there a Little League dad who worked with the NBA? Or was a sober companion? When I inquired deeper, nobody came forward with the admission, and I was left to assume that the ball was donated from a private collection by a dad whose wife was furious that her husband had collected such a womanizing drug-addled autograph… Meanwhile, my wife looked at it as it entered our house and commented, “You didn’t bid on the restaurant gift certificate?”
So now, in my very modest collection of NBA memorabilia, I have a Lamar Odom-signed basketball. Amazingly. More people comment on this souvenir than anything else I have collected since I was a kid. My Shaquille O’Neal signature? YAWN. The autographed Gronk jersey? Snooze. Even the Charles Barkley signed ball gets a fervent ho-hum from my friends when we have a few beers and look through the pathetic corner of my house that I refer to as my “Man Cave.”
But the Lamar Odom ball sparks conversation…
“Woah! Did it come with a hooker and blow?” is a common response. “Dude, hilarious – remember when he went on that bender in Vegas? I’d KILL for one night of that!” is another.
So as men, we drive the Little League carpools, do our best to support our families and every once in awhile we get together to drink beers and live vicariously through Lamar Odom’s signature… He may not be remembered for his Michael Jordan-like career or his Hall of Fame potential, but he will forever be respected by the members of the “live life by the rules” folks who will never have the balls to head to the Bunny Ranch with a bag of blow and a suitcase full of Viagra.
Here’s to you Lamar. I know you’re a survivor. As long as you’re out there living it up, men like me will toast your praises. Even if my wife is still bummed that I didn’t get the restaurant gift certificate…
Kanye West: A Love Letdown at the Hollywood Bowl
A lot of people give me a hard time about how much I love Kanye West. Other than the Yeezus album I consider his masterful body of work to be nearly flawless and I really don’t give a shit if he storms Grammy Awards stages to criticize critics and people who spend their lives worshipping pop stars. Kim Kardashian? Cool, the guy fell in love. Good for him.
Which is why when I heard he was going to perform his genre-bending classic record 808’s and Heartbreak at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, I got excited. Very excited. Like drop some major money for great seats excited.
Kanye West says wants to be in the same conversation as the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Beatles etc. Last night he went on at 9:05 p.m. He took a final bow at 10:07. That’s ONE HOUR, people. My band plays longer than that and we charge $7.00 a show. Kanye played the album, had some impressive choreography, musicianship and pyrotechnics – and then called it a wrap. Sure, the 808’s record is terrific – but it is not perfect – and a lot of Kanye fans have no idea that there is even a song called Pinnocchio Story in his repertoire. So, he could have dug a little deeper.
Here’s the bottom line. Kanye better learn that he needs to add on some other songs to any live performance.
Not sure if it has been reported, but the show was full of technical flaws – which I know he can’t help – (dead air, barking “stop the track” mid song…) but when Young Jeezy showed up in the middle of a blank spot during Amazing it just looked amateurish. As if Jeezy had been getting some brain backstage while smoking a blunt and forgot that he had to be performing on the song Kanye was laying down. James Brown would have crippled someone.
To charge $$$ for a 1 hour performance – when the majority of the crowd left disappointed, feeling ripped off – is not professional or legendary. About 3/4 of us sat around asking, “Is that IT?” When he took a bow at the end… And his onstage energy at times was lackluster – resembling that lazy stripper who never really does anything but hang on the pole.
The crowd was full of music heads. Nearly every guy wearing a T-shirt with a scoop neck and a long back that resembled a mini skirt – a style nearly invented by Kanye himself – looked like they were underwhelmed. (To be fair, the best part of the show was the people watching – All the guys looked like they were only there because they had to step away from their busy “beat-making for Akon” schedule and every woman seemed as if they took three hours getting ready to channel their “inner Kendall Jenner.”)
Kanye said he wants to be remembered like the Stones or Bob Dylan. Look buddy. Neil Young might play “Greendale” once in awhile, but he also throws on “Old Man” and “Hey Hey My My” at the end. Springsteen will do the entire “Darkness at the Edge of Town” but he will still suffer through “Glory Days” at the end as well… Kanye West needs to study the master performers a little deeper before he can consider himself one. Hopefully tonight’s show will go a little smoother.
Or you can skip it and see my band at the Hotel Café for $7.00…