Can’t Build Around Bynum

Andrew Bynum isn’t even 25 years old yet.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been waiting for Andrew Bynum to mature for the past 5 seasons. He finally broke out this year as the 2nd best center in the NBA, putting up 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game during the regular season. Dominating numbers from a dominating physical presence. But don’t let his physical stature and the numbers fool you, Bynum still possesses the mind of a child.

That mind is not going to change.

Andrew Bynum has been somewhat of an enigma all season for the Lakers. The infamous 3-point shot that sent him straight to the pine encapsulates most everything that Bynum is and has been for Los Angeles. After the benching, Bynum sulked for much of the game, refusing to join the huddle in team timeouts and subsequently played some uninspired 4th quarter basketball. He reacted to the situation like a petulant child.

Immaturity is a good excuse for only so long.

The young ancient Roman emperor Nero passed off his failings and cruelty to the public as youthful mistakes but it was said that this was more a fault of his character and not his age. The same could be said of Andrew Bynum, you know, minus the cruelty.

Last night, after another uninspired 10 point, 4 rebound performance from Bynum, he was questioned by the media about his expectations of a possible contract extension with the Lakers. Bynum would give an answer once again suggesting his inexperience got the better of him. He said that “I’m not sure,” and “It really doesn’t matter to me. I’ll play anywhere. I think for the most part I had a pretty decent season and then an OK postseason. Obviously this last game was the worst game I’ve probably played. It sucks, obviously, we’re going fishing. My focus is next year and coming back stronger, adding things to my game”

Inexperienced words from an inexperienced man.
This whole immaturity thing, ironically, is getting a little old for Andrew Bynum though. There has been no maturation for Bynum and it doesn’t appear as though there ever will be. His comments exhibit the signs of a kid who doesn’t learn. All he had to do was fake his undying devotion to the Lakers but he couldn’t do that.

As much as Orlando fans, or any fans for that matter really, would love to see Andrew Bynum in their teams’ jersey, he is not a player anyone should be building a franchise around.

Bynum is not a centrepiece. His game would indicate otherwise but his mind won’t ever catch up to his skills on the court. He insisted that he would continue to shoot 3’s after getting benched for the very act. He said that it doesn’t really matter where he’ll play. Most importantly, he continues to expose his lack of passion and concern for winning.

Despite playing with Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum doesn’t show up to work every day. It is more than a little distressing that with their playoff lives at stake, Bynum came up with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 0 blocks. The 10 points are not the issue because sometimes you don’t score, especially with Kobe taking 33 shots. The 4 rebounds and 0 blocks are what pop off the page.

When everything was on the line, the Lakers center came up with a Terrell Owens when he is mad at his quarterback type performance. Apathetic.

Don’t chalk up his poor play to immaturity that will mature sooner or later. Bynum has a body of work as evidence to the contrary. Immature is what Andrew Bynum is.

Until recently, Dwight Howard was applauded for his boyish charm and his juvenile attitude was seen as something that he would grow out of. I think it’s safe to say that ship has sailed. D-12’s infantile behaviour has already cost his franchise one of the best coaches in the NBA and in due time he will force the Magic to rebuild completely from scratch.

When you talk about championship material, Andrew Bynum is one of the last guys you would think of. Sometimes the light turns on for certain players like a flip has just been switched. For the past few years, it seemed as though the light just needed to be switched on for Andrew Bynum. Now it’s clear that the light in Bynum’s head is forever broken, never to be turned on.

Barring injuries, Andrew Bynum will carry on being one of the most productive centers in the NBA for years to come. He has been given too many gifts from the big man upstairs. A championship is by no means out of the question for whichever team Bynum ends up playing for as long as he is not the one leading the charge.

Some team will expect Andrew Bynum to eventually be the future of their franchise. But how can anyone expect Bynum to lead a group of players when he can’t even lead himself in the right direction?

Andrew Bynum’s true colours were revealed again last night and those colours aren’t piloting any team to an NBA championship.

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28 Responses to Can’t Build Around Bynum

  1. jwoodny says:

    Great comparison to Nero. I agree 100%. Bynum needs an adult chaperone LOL

    But seriously though, you can’t change a person’s natural mindset. Case in point, T.O is still jersey-less while Randy Moss will be playing for 1 of the top teams in the league. Owens can say he’s changed, he’ll do better, he’s ready to be a veteran leader all he wants. But he can’t shake that precedent that attached to his name. If Bynum doesn’t turn it around this season, he’ll be the same way. The other thing is the Lakers need a coach that can wrangle him. No way would he have made those kinda remarks w/ Phil Jackson as coach. Nope!

    • adrianabl says:

      I think they should get rid of Bynum because he is to inmature and he does not have the experience that Pau Gasol has although he is 30 years old. I think if the Lakers have a chance to get Dwight Howard I would rid of both of them. And another reason why they lost is their bench was unexistent during the entire season, they should get rid of the bench, I woud keep Steve Blake, Ron Artist and Hill. Another reason trading Lamar Odom why because they lost scorring without him. Kobe is to old and selfish it his fault they lost. He tried to be the heroe.

    • adrianabl says:

      please comment on my blog and let me know your opinion. on taking out Gasol or Bynum. i still not sure which one to trade. But know thinking about it well it should be Bynum. At first i thought Gasol. But now that have analyzed it well Bynum is the one. Because is to inmature and childish. I don’t like the lakers at all. they have a lot of thinking to do. I want the Celtics to win, but i know it is impossible.

  2. Bynum has been the most maddeningly frustrating player on the Lakers of the past decade. Though Shaq acted like a dick he had the drive and skill to win championships nearly on his own. On the flipside, plays like Luke Walton and Slava Medvedenko were just terrible so you couldn’t really expect much from them.

    Drew is more of the type with too much skill, too much fame, and too much ego to harness it all for a more focused will to win (like Kobe has… mostly). At this point in his career it’s better to seek out a straight Bynum-for-Dwight trade (he’s worn his welcome out in Orlando) and give them both a chance to start fresh with franchises willing to commit to each of them. Who knows, maybe they’ll face off in another Lakers-Magic Finals…

  3. Shawn says:

    I agree he is too immature and he has proven that he checks out when he doesn’t get his way.

  4. I agree. How long can we pay someone just for being tall? He plays with no heart and no enthusiasm. If he doesn’t care who he plays for and his agent says it’s not their call, why are we literally investing SO much in him? We’re wasting the talent and passion of guys like Kobe and (say what you want) MWP by surrounding them with guys like this.

  5. Ray Boyd says:

    Great article, definitely agree about the immaturity. Bynum is great but you’re right, he has to mature.

  6. Kendall says:

    I think he reached his ceiling I dont see him getting much better.Like I say about Dwight Howard, he is benefitting from a lackluster pool of big men in the NBA.

  7. The_Esposito_Himself says:

    Im not a big fan of Bynum, but I don’t think he has reached his ceiling. If he goes to a team with a premier point guard, or somehow the Lakers trade Pau for one, I guarantee you will see an improvement and consistency in his game.

  8. There’s a reason why you can’t build around Bynum ……….. the idiots within the Lakers’ front office committed $16.3 million to him for next season and they now have to make a choice between he and Pau Gasol. Given the choice , I would execute both … their contributions this postseason have been a complete joke . Excuses and nothing but excuses from both players continuously . Mike Brown has just reiterated what many might now be thinking, be it one or two possibly two superstars on his roster , he’s still a lousy coach who doesn’t know how to adjust .

    is past his sell-by-date but he’s simply too dumb to realize that very fact . If he returns next year he’s still be slow and possess about as much athleticism as Clay Aiken undertaking USMC (Marine Corps) assault and obstacle course .

    • adrianabl says:

      I agree if they have a chance to get rid of both of them and try to get Howard. Trade steve blake for a quality point guard. Mike Brown is not a good cpuach, i don`t like Phil Jackson at all. Mike Brown tried to change the system from the triangle offense to another system. they lost bench contribution from Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown. but i am not big laker fan i like the celtics better
      please on my blog

  9. eric says:

    any chance of ever convincing jim buss that bynum should go? he seems untouchable the way jim talks about him and the future of the organization…

    • Chris Ross says:

      It’s hard to say whether he’s just standing behind him in public, hoping that he can turn it around, all the while considering all the options he has. He does seem untouchable the way he talks about him. I can see his thinking behind that because Bynum can be so dominant on both ends of the floor. However, with Kobe on the inevitable (i think?) decline some day in the near future, it’s tough to wrap my head around anybody really believing that he can be the future face of the franchise.

  10. youngkerux says:

    True. I have to say:

    1. He is not 25 yet as you said. Maybe he’ll change and grow in a few years… but that’s a big maybe. After all, Allen Iverson ended his career, even won an MVP, but never grew to be a mature player.

    2. Bynum is not the man you want to build around with, I agree. You need someone who is: (1) dedicated to the franchise (not a Lebron-Dwight Howard-Melo-D’Will again who will just break your heart). You need to build around guys like Kobe, Nash (who did not demand a trade), Tim Duncan, Nowitzki, Durant. Those kind of players had loyalty. That’s what you need.

    3. Besides someone who is loyal, you need someone who thinks about his team. That is what differentiates franchise players from the typical all-stars. Iverson did not care about practice. Jordan cared about his teammates. Kobe fought for Pau Gasol with the trade rumors, he wanted Odom back, received Sessions, continued to praise his teammates and called them out if they are not playing the way they should. The fact that Bynum just stayed in the bus instead of cheering his teammates in a non-bearing game says a lot about Bynum’s selfishness. The guys who make care about their teammates and make them better is what differentiates a championship team leader from a regular all-star.

    If Bynum is not the player LAL should build a team around at, what should they do?

    If a good deal is available, trade Bynum while he has some value. If there is no good deals, keep him. He is still valuable being the second best center in the league.What does the Lakers need anyway? I think with the type of basketball played in the league at this era, you don’t really need offensive centers that much–unless they really dominate. Bynum does not dominate. He can be stopped. Lakers should invest in a defensive-minded center. If Bynum will be committed to defense, keep him. If not, trade him.

    Knowing Lakers and Mitch Kupchak, they will always find a way to replace Kobe when the time comes. Bynum doesn’t have to be the answer.

  11. NC says:

    I agree with everything you said. Also remember that Bynum lost to a team of 22 and 23 year olds (Durant, Westbrook, Harden) so to defend his poor play using his youth makes no sense. In regards to D12, good luck. That is trading one headache for another.

    • labatman24 says:

      Dwight Howard is way better than Bynum defensively. And the guy is a physical specimen who doesn’t get tired like Bynum does. If you paired dwight with Kobe and gasol The lakers would be much much improved on the defensive end and possibly a contender.

  12. labatman24 says:

    I think that Bynum has some maturity issues. The laker offense is limited by their supporting players though. They go to bynum once and when he’s guarded they just give up and give it back to kobe. Gasol and bynum don’t play together well as gasol needs the ball in the low post, where Bynum is. The lakers lack outside shooting so their spacing is poor also. They are not a championship team but i think that bynum can contribute to a championship team if he played at his ceiling. i still feel that Phil Jackson had a point when he told Bynum to focus on defense and rebounding and not worry about his scoring. When bynum is locked in defensively The lakers were very good. At times drew looked gassed out there probably due to mike brown riding Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum so much in the regular season.

    I have my own thoughts here on pau and bynum and

    here on the lakers’ loss to the thunder

  13. Completely disagree. Bynum is the piece to build around. Get him the ball more, give him more touches and make him the focal point of the offence and we have seen the results throughout the year. He is the piece the Lakers can and probably will build around. If there is some concerns about his maturity, and some old heads around him. Heres where dropping Derek Fisher was a bad move. He was the selfless one, who kept them all in line. But Bynum is the man for the Lakers.

  14. Pingback: Andrew Bynum Leaving Lakers | News Media Source, Entertainment News, Media Source, Celeb News, News Media

  15. Nice post. I liked the historical reference to Nero lol. I’ll definitely be checking your blog out. Do the same for me!

  16. Good stuff! Pretty much nailed it on who Bynum is, both at a personal level and as a professional player. How Kobe would love for those “Bosh for Bynum” trade rumour whispers to re-surface from 2 years ago when his contract with Toronto was about to expire. Bynum can totally become one of the most productive centers and is a legit big men and make any team a contender.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know if its because he’s a Jersey kid and the whole West coast experience just has him too relaxed at such a young age, but the Lakers should heavily consider using him as bait when you’ve got another disgrunted big men in Orlando. Bynum wouldn’t be as much in the spot light and in an Eastern Conference where the road might be a lot easier to make it deep into the playoffs (this Heat team isn’t one for the ages – see rant) Howard has publically stated he wants out – rumours are now surfacing that despite senior mangement giving Van Gundy and GM their pink slips, he still wants out – I’m sure Howard would welcome the oppourtunity to win a championship and show he can do what Bynum has lacked thus far.

    As I rant, he’s been injured for the past 3 out of 4 season – played well in a shorten season, but when he’s constantly getting injured, it might be time to re-consider who you want to make your star man of the future and potential leaders. As long as Kobe is there, he’ll always be the leader but if they wish to give the reigns to Bynum – either be straight up with him and show him you won’t put up with any of his non-sense or let him realize what he had once he’s not a Laker. Too many other players would die for the raw talent he has and to perform it in the spotlight in a Laker uniform is only a dream for many. Learn to shut up, play your role, give it your best and accept that your still developing and perhaps you’ll have a shot at not only being the best big men over the next decade, but adding titles to that as well.

    He may say its the “Brown” first year thing, but the Lakers’ failure is not squarely his fault – any other team would lose to OKC except the Spurs. But learn to accept that responsibilty and be accountable for what you do out on the floor. His Game 5 performance – when Kobe was putting on his best show yet in an elimination game, Bynum’s mind was already set on his summer plans. That in Laker land, is totally unacceptable and wouldn’t put it past management if they get rid of him!

  17. Great post here. Bynum should have another decade of high production in the NBA, but you can only go so far with the attitude he holds and the maturity he lacks. I think he’ll be the best player on a team he’s playing for in the future, but he’s not the sure-fire go-to post guy teams need. Maybe he’ll be the superstar he can be in the future, but as you said, he can be stopped at times and isn’t the guy to build a franchise around. I won’t give up on him yet.

  18. Jay Wallis says:

    I enjoy your implementation of history midway through this article.

    What’s interesting to realize is the fact that the two best centers in the NBA (D12 and Bynum) both came from high school, and that inexperience in the real world is showing for all to see. Think about when you were a senior and high school… that’s the last thing those two remember before taking on millions to play a sport with a ball. They might be great players, but their actions when the going gets tough will make owners question if it is truly worth making a move for these players during a time when there is a dearth of centers.

    By the way, great article! You had solid writing along with good flow. Keep up the posts!

  19. I like your article on Andrew Bynum, Chris. I have to say that whenever I see Andrew Bynum on television in that gigantic Laker uniform, I always have to see that youthful face and that giant body of his. That youthful face of Andrew Bynum doesn’t seem to age, doesn’t seem to grow up with wisdom, doesn’t seem wiser one day at a time, doesn’t grow up a second more, I think you get what I mean. He is an imposing figure, but he may not grow up mentally. In his own mind, he is a tormented little child and this is what being an adult is. He’s an adult and no one has to tell him how to behave. He has to learn how to mask that inner child-like mind. There are lots of child-like adults like Andrew Bynum in the world. One has to show Bynum the ways of his child-like habits, possibly by showing his own reflection in his mirror. Sadly, the thing is, Andrew Bynum may not like to see what he wants to see in himself, because he is immature and may just remain a tormented kid inside an grown-up for the rest of his life.

  20. andyquiroz says:

    ‘Drew…how we love you when you dominate, and how we dislike you when your all busted up an not playing. My opinion about Andrew goes with the blame that i equally split among him an the other starters. Yes, Andrew is not our center piece but he can be an important part of us growing to a dominate team. When Andrew, Pau, and Kobe all do 20 and 15 or better, we win easily. No team in the league can stop that. So why don’t we do that every night? Well that is easy. Our team chemistry and inability to adjust our offense as games go on is what always is our undoing. When Andrew doesn’t bring it an just pouts, then the try-pod falls and fails. I hope he gets it together for next season, and that he trains hard in the preseason an shows up to training camp ready to repeat his all star caliber year he posted this season. If not, well, he may be playing his last year in a Laker uniform this coming season.

    Well done on your article thou, lets keep it going. Since the Lakers are now home for the summer we can start some kind of USA basketball olympic blog postings.

  21. Steven Jeffries says:

    Reblogged this on stevenjeffries and commented:
    I agree, maybe it’s time for Andrew to go…

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