The L.A. Lakers' Polar Opposites

In advance of tonight's Lakers-Jazz game, it's worth mentioning that the L.A. Lakers are a team with a wide variety of players and personalities, epitomized by two stories out of Los Angeles this afternoon. On side, you've got 22 year-old Andrew Bynum...

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"I guess I am kind of injury-prone," said Bynum, who missed 32 games last season, 47 in 2007-08 and 17 games this season before sustaining a pain-inducing tear in cartilage in his right knee last week.

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"It's going to be that way until I get it cleaned out."

"Cutting and jumping and landing and pushing off is where I feel it, but running in a straight line is not bad at all," he said.

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That's from one L.A. Times story, and here's Ron Artest from another Times story:

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"I think about playing hard every day. I go to sleep, and I just want to play hard. I even sleep rough. I'll be sleeping and knocking the wife over the head. I eat my breakfast rough."

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I've always daydreamed about Ron Artest's interactions with Kobe Bryant in the Lakers locker room, but... Maybe I had the wrong dream? When you think about it, people don't get any more different than "I guess I am injury-prone" and "I eat my breakfast rough." Imagine watching Ron Artest try to get through to Andrew Bynum.

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But then, that's the Lakers for you.

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They've thrown together a cartoonish gang of personalities, and because they're all really, really good at basketball, it works. And you know, even if you hate them on the court, you have to appreciate the theater of it. And wonder: Pau Gasol, Artest, Bynum, Kobe, Adam Morrison, DJ Mbenga... How do these guys relate to each other?

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One thing's for certain: Lamar Odom's way, way too "relaxed" to care about any of it.

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(image via)

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