One of my greatest fears isn’t success. It’s what happens to your career, your psyche, your very livelihood, after your fame transitions from being a blessing to becoming a fucking burden.
We’ve heard plenty of horror stories about the perils of fame and the desperate acts that celebrities subject themselves to in order to maintain it. So if I earned over $110 million throughout the course of my NBA career, the absolute last thing I’d want to be doing to pay my bills is beating up former child pop stars.
Yet because it’s 2021, and celebrity boxing is now very much a thing, that’s exactly what people like Lamar Odom and other castoffs and “should’ve beens” are doing.
Odom, now 41, has had a rough go since his playing days came to an end. Sure, he married a Kardashian, but that marriage has since dissolved. He’s also been knocked for a DUI, had public spats with subsequent romantic interests, and almost lost his life after a much-publicized drug overdose.
“I have horrible memory loss,” he admitted to People in 2019 while discussing the long-term effects of his overdose. “My long-term memory was affected as well. Athletically, my balance is poo. I was shocked how weak my body became.”
Does this sound like a person that belongs inside of a boxing ring? I’m going with “Absolutely not.” Yet because Odom’s waning celebrity apparently offers limited options—he would likely cause a distraction at a regular 9 to 5 and his NBA stint didn’t exactly end amicably—like so many other stars of yesteryear, he’s decided to cash out on his novelty by joining the celebrity boxing circuit.
In recent months, we’ve seen titans like Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather feed their competitive edge and enter the fray in the name of greed; running up a ridiculous amount of pay-per-view revenue that they aren’t exactly hurting for in the process. But when it comes to the Cisco Rosados (yes, that Cisco Rosado) or Lamar Odoms of the world, one can’t help but feel like their participation in such a violent sport is predicated solely on survival. How else do you explain agreeing to something as outrageous as fighting Aaron fucking Carter?
The check must’ve cleared, however, because this weekend, for the low low price of a quarter-tank of gas, you could’ve watched a guy who once rapped about beating Shaq in a game of H-O-R-S-E do this...
...to a guy who, not too long ago, spent four days in a coma, suffered significant brain damage, had 12 strokes and six heart attacks (!!!!!!!!!), and somehow lived to tell the tale. That same person also returned fire in the second round of their “bout” and brought this spectacle to its unceremonious end with a knockout.
I didn’t watch this bullshit and I sure as hell hope you didn’t, too. And that’s not because I’m hating or against anyone doing what they’ve gotta do to pay their bills, it’s because Odom (and his delicate physical state) had no business what-so-fucking-ever in that ring and it honestly broke my heart to know that a man who’s accomplished so much throughout the course of his life now has to sell his dignity for pennies on the dollar in order to chase fame and pay his bills.
Shit is truly fucking sad, bruh.
And I completely understand that celebrity boxing is inherently a novelty act and not an actual sport. But if this type of foolishness—and complete disregard for personal safety—awaits any and all who succumb to the allure of fame, then obscurity just became a lot more attractive.