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Website presents interesting odds on what will happen first with the Lakers this season

October 4, 2010 |  4:30 pm


Forget whether the Lakers will three-peat. Forget whether Kobe Bryant will be the league MVP. And forget whether this team proves to be the best team under Jerry Buss' watch, as he predicted during the offseason.

All of those questions will be answered later. But for now, is presenting various odds on what will happen first with the Lakers this season. Among the categories: Will Bryant and Ron Artest fight publicly? Will Bryant re-injure his index finger? Will Andrew Bynum find out he'll miss the entire season? Will Jack Nicholson miss a home game? Will Coach Phil Jackson retire. Though Bynum recently predicted that surgery on his right knee means he won't return until December, Lakers fans can at least take comfort that more folks on the website believe that it's more likely Nicholson will miss a game (50%, +100).

That doesn't mean that the gamblers aren't banking on some Lakers setbacks. Their next-most-likely scenario involves Bryant re-injuring his right index finger (28%, +250), after opting not to have surgery because of a fear that the rehabilitation process would take too long. Then there's the belief that Bynum's controversial offseason surgery will come back to bite him, resulting in a season-long absence (25%, +300). As much as Lakers fans don't want to see that happen, it's plausible given Bynum's long injury history.

But it's head-scratching that the website's odds of that happening are equal to the chances that Jackson retires before the season ends. He's made it abundantly clear he wouldn't have returned for another year if he had any doubts about whether he could last the entire season, and he's even left enough uncertainty for some to think the 2010-2011 campaign isn't truly his "Last Stand."

And as far as that Bryant-and-Artest fight? Let's just say it's not likely we'll see Bryant elbow Artest and then see Artest run cross-court to get in the Black Mamba's face (12%, +750). They play on the same team now, so they love each other.

-- Mark Medina

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Photo: Kobe Bryant prepares to leave after a team training session in London on Sunday. Credit: Tom Hevezi/Associated Press