Lamar Odom is in a sharing mood. Behind his new tell-all memoir Darkness to Light, Odom is sitting down and opening up in various interviews. In his latest interview with Talib Kweli, Odom revealed the extent of his health issues and reminisced about advice that JAY-Z gave him that he wished he would have followed.
On the Uproxx series People's Party, the former NBA star said he has had 12 strokes and six heart attacks in his life, a shocking number even with his widely publicized health issues.
At around the seven-minute mark, Odom said JAY-Z tried to talk him out of starting a record label. He said Jigga insisted he should use his basketball money to go into real estate or other businesses like Magic Johnson.
“He was like ‘Nah homie, you should be doing what Magic is doing. Doing real estate or something,'” Odom said. Due to a lack of a relationship with Hov, the rapper's own caginess, and the fact that Odom was full of the cockiness of someone who is just starting out, Odom laughed off JAY's advice.
“I think I took it the wrong way,” Odom said. “Like, these motherfuckers must be scared of me.”
With the benefit of hindsight, Odom said he wished he would have gone into other lanes like JAY said. “I didn’t listen to big homie, but I wish I would,” Odom said. “Sometimes I think, what if I’d have listened to Hov’s advice?”
Odom also touched on his addictions and the lengths he went to to hide them. The 39-year-old said he couldn't bring himself to cheat as a child in school, but that he was able to push himself to use a Whizzinator to pass drug tests to keep playing. While he played at a high level in the NBA and with Team USA, he believes he could have been greater had he never struggled with drug addiction.
"If I wasn't addicted, would I play at a higher level? Of course I would have. It would have meant more time with me perfecting my craft," he said. "But then I wouldn't be Lamar Odom, we wouldn't be here talking...about this book and me helping people."