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July 22, 2009 |  9:03 am

Because that's all the cool kids talk about these days?  And by "cool kids," I mean, "myself, BK, and an assortment of decidedly unhip scribes."

The Times' Bill Plaschke thinks keeping Lamar Odom in the fold could make or break the Lakers' title repeat next season (and beyond).  Between Odom's versatility, Andrew Bynum's unproven track record and the relatively small dollars seemingly in question, the issue strikes Plaschke as a no-brainer.  Said importance wouldn't be debated by Derek Fisher nor Bryant, the former sharing his thoughts with LAT scribe Helene Elliott and the latter still optimistic "Operation Odom" will be as successful as "Operation I'm One Seriously Popular Dude in Asia."  Maybe not as popular in the Philippines as new buddy Manny Pacquiao, but still, quite the B.M.O.C.

The O.C. Register's Jeff Miller is as exhausted as everyone else by these nutty negotiations, but as he reminds us, what else should be expected in the crazy world that is the NBA?

  Nothing is ever as easy as it looks, particularly when it appears to be a layup so wide open even Courtney Lee couldn't miss.  So it was this week when, upon returning from vacation, we learned Lamar Odom remains a Laker, but still only by default. The candy man can't, evidently, swallow the idea of signing here for three or four years when a potential fifth guaranteed season could be awaiting him in Miami. At least that's one theory.  If true, imagine living in a world where, after making nearly $70 million over a six-year period, you're still concerned about long-term security. Seems a little bit much, doesn't it? Unless, of course, Odom plans on living to be 754. These negotiations rarely are simple. There are egos involved and agents and a perspective unfamiliar to those of us who live on planet Earth. Theirs is a universe where disrespect somehow can be spelled with seven zeroes.

Actually, BK and I consider any contract with fewer than eight zeroes to be a slap in the face.  But then again, everyone knows that if you wanna make the big bucks, you go into sports journalism.  Ridiculous salary is practically an inalienable right guaranteed by the constitution.  So really, our reaction is to be expected and, frankly, applauded.