MINNEAPOLIS -- Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has become a boxing fan in recent years. This summer, during the lockout, he started working out with legendary trainer Freddie Roach and his conditioning guru, Alex Ariza.
It seems the young center also might have picked up a few things about how to promote a fight that might not be as exciting of a matchup as it has been in recent years.
One mention of the Lakers' game Sunday against the Boston Celtics, and Bynum shouted across the Lakers' locker room: "We're going at they head. We're going at the Celtics' rack. Yo, we going at the Celtics' rack. At they head."
Why the strong words?
"Because we don't like them boys," Bynum said after the Lakers salvaged their ugly three-game road trip Friday night with a 105-102 win against the Timberwolves at Target Center.
Of course, the team's history goes much deeper than that. Boston beat the Lakers in six games in the 2008 NBA Finals. The Lakers exacted revenge by beating the Celtics in seven games in the 2010 Finals. In the past few years, the two regular-season matchups each season have been intense and physical.
Asked about Bynum's comments, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant laughed and said: "It's true. We're going to go at them, they're going to go at us. That's where we enjoy going against them. They're playing extremely well. (Rajon) Rondo has obviously had a monster game as of late. We're going to go at them, and they're going to go at us. That's just how it is."
Teammate Matt Barnes, also known for his rugged style of play, chalked up Bynum's comments to youthful swagger.
"Go at their heads?" Barnes said, chuckling. "Andrew's a character. He's playing well right now, and he's got an amazing swag. You just got to let him be him.
"That just means we're ready to play."