Franchise player status, PED use, space cadet behavior and wild popularity aside (huh?) the LA Daily News’ Ramona Shelburne thinks a comparison between Lakers F Lamar Odom and Dodgers OF Manny Ramirez holds water, though keep in mind, she’s making that assertion a day after Mitch Kupchak pulled his contract offer to the 30 year old Odom off the table.

Take all the stories written about Manny Ramirez about five months ago. Replace Ramirez with Lamar Odom, replace agent Scott Boras with agent Jeff Schwartz, Dodgers with Lakers … and continue with the story.

It all seems rather dramatic right now,  just five days after general manager Mitch Kupchak told an L.A. radio station that “there is no replacement for Lamar Odom” and sources on both sides of the negotiations acting like the only thing left to decide was which day the news conference would be held.

But the world hasn’t turned upside down in the past five days. It only seems that way because both sides are hard at work leveraging their respective positions.

The only constant in the talks is the only thing that should ultimately matter: the Lakers and Odom need each other more than anyone else does.

Which was the same constant in Ramirez’ protracted negotiations with the Dodgers last winter.

A league executive said Schwartz is determined to land his client a deal better than the five-year, $38.6 million contract Dallas agreed to with Shawn Marion, and if you look at their careers, abilities and statistics head-to-head, that seems more than fair.

But fair is a word both sides use in the news conference after a deal has been reached, not when they’re still sitting across the table from each other.