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Lamar Odom Calls Kobe Bryant A "Father Figure"

While promoting his memoir Darkness to Light, Lamar Odom discussed his fondness of Kobe Bryant throughout the time the pair played together for the Los Angeles Lakers. During the interview on "Sway's Universe," Odom praised the Black Mamba for his mentorship and being more than a teammate.

"Kobe Bryant played a crucial role in my life," he said. "I have recently started to reflect back about my relationships and I'm so grateful for the people God gave me. His love and care was so deep I should have given you my 6th man award just because I feel you deserved it...I hope you know that I'm extremely blessed to have you in my life not only as a friend, Laker fam, but also as a father figure that I never had."

For seven seasons, the pair ran game-winning plays on the court, garnering a couple of championships in the process. Odom was part of the purple and gold team from 2004-2011.

Darkness to Light tells Odom's recollection of his past drug abuse, the highs and lows of his career, and his past marriage to Khloe Kardashian. The memoir was released near the end of May. In an interview with ABC News, Odom described the premise of the book, noting that's it's more than the dark obstacles he had to overcome. "It's really a story of triumph, and overcoming obstacles. And tragedy," Odom said. "Overcoming tragedy."

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Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant reacts during the Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals in Boston, Massachusetts, June 17, 2008.
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Kobe Bryant's Basketball Hall Of Fame Induction Scheduled For 2021

After being pushed back several months, Kobe Bryant’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction will take place next year, the NBA announced on Saturday (Nov. 28). Bryant is scheduled to be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in May 2021.

Additional inductees include NBA ballers Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, and WNBA great Tamika Catchings. Hall of Fame weekend, which was originally scheduled to take place in August, was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event is now scheduled for May 13-15, 2021.

NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich also made the 2021 Hall of Fame class, as did Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, and Bentley University women’s coach Barbara Stevens.

With a combined 48 All-Star Game selections, and nearly a dozen NBA championships between them, Bryant, Duncan, and Garnett lead the 2021 Hall of Fame class. Eddie Sutton, Former Oklahoma State, Kentucky, who died in May, joins Bryant as a posthumous inductee.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash this past January. The NBA legend passed away with his 13-year-old daughter, Giana Bryant, and seven others.

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The Weeknd To Headline Super Bowl LV Halftime Show

The Weeknd just reached a career milestone. The Canadian singer will headline the Super Bowl LV halftime show, it was announced on Thursday (Nov. 12).

"We all grow up watching the world's biggest acts playing the Super Bowl and one can only dream of being in that position,” said The Weeknd. “I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage.”

performing on the iconic stage. see you 02/07/21 @pepsi #pepsihalftime #SBLV pic.twitter.com/oYlQyvKRwh

— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 12, 2020

Emmy-nominee Jesse Collins will executive produce the Super Bowl LV halftime extravaganza, which marks the second collaboration between Roc Nation and the NFL since announcing their partnership last year. The big show will go down at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla.

“The Weeknd has ushered in a sound all his own. His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry,” JAY-Z said. “This is an extraordinary moment in time and the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show is going to be an extraordinary experience with an extraordinary performer.”

The “Blinding Lights” singer joins Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Prince, Katy Perry, Madonna, and other music stars who have performed at halftime.

Super Bowl LV will live on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.

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Michael Jordan Reveals Plans To Launch NASCAR Team Next Year

Michael Jordan is beefing up his resume. The NBA legend and business mogul has added NASCAR team owner to his list of accolades.

Jordan is partnering with three-time Daytona 500 winner, Denny Hamlin, to launch the team in 2021. Bubba Wallace has been tapped as a driver.

In an interview with NBC Sports, Jordan spoke about how the collaboration came together and confirmed that he’ll be just as competitive in NASCAR as he was in basketball. “It was one of those things, again, it’s always been on my mind,” he said of owning a team. “I go with my gut feeling. When the time is right you know it. When this was presented to me, I felt good about it. When Bubba was involved in the whole conversation I felt good about it.”

Jordan continued, “My biggest conversation with Denny was, ‘Look, I don’t want to get in there to just go around the races and just go around and around and around and finish up 18th, 19th, 20th, 30th. I want to win. I want to be put in a position for the best chance for us to win. That’s my competitive nature. That’s always been who I am.”

As one of only two Black co-owners for a Cup team (the first is Brad Duagherty) and the first Black majority owner in NASCAR, Jordan hopes to provide more opportunities for Black people in the sport.

“To me, you’re basically diving into a situation where very few Black people have been present into the NASCAR arena. In essence, you’re going in with the opportunity to expand that and to give a different lens to NASCAR as a whole,” he explained. “For so long, it’s been viewed from a negative aspect with the Confederate flag and all these other things that occurred.

“Now you go in with NASCAR making an effort to change the perspective and try to attract and connect to the next generation without losing something for today’s authenticity of the sport presented an opportunity for me to get involved in this whole process and know that I am spearheading a thought process of Blacks getting involved in NASCAR when in essence very few have since 1960s (when Wendell Scott competed and owned his own cars).”

For current NASCAR fans, the 57-year-old retired athlete noted that he isn't trying to “change and shape NASCAR.” Still, Jordan hopes that fans who have followed his career will support NASCAR as well.

“I go in with my passion. I hope that whoever knows Michael Jordan or whoever supports Michael Jordan, whoever supports NASCAR [sees] this as an opportunity to enjoy the sport.”

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