Andrew Bynum: Lakers giant shows big potential
Andrew Bynum holds this season’s Lakers destiny somewhere inside of his seven foot frame. On any given night, he’s capable of harnessing his talent and being the best player on the court and showing the great promise that had previously only been shown on occasion. Just as easily, Andrew Bynum the person can outweigh the player and cost his team the game.
No further proof of that claim is needed after the back to back performances he put up last week. In a pivotal match against cross-town rival The Clippers, Bynum had one of his best games of the season, putting up 36 points and eight rebounds while playing staunch defense throughout.
Along with his outstanding numbers, he occasionally found a way to do something to drive a coach crazy, from his timely cherry-picking to intentionally running out to the three-point line to shoot an end-of-the-quarter shot just a week after being benched for taking such a shot at an untimely moment.
He openly defies coaching to play his way while simultaneously putting up outstanding numbers when he’s at his best. Simply put, if it weren’t for him being seven feet tall, his mental makeup would lead you to believe that he could be off one team and on to another very quickly.
The good Bynum surfaced in a major way in that Clippers game, but suddenly vanished just two days later against Houston. Despite having a good game numbers wise, Bynum picked up two technical fouls in a matter of minutes to get himself ejected, thus costing the Lakers a win. One was for shoving an opponent in the chest after a hard foul, and the other for mouthing at their bench after a basket. The childish natures of these plays are easy to get upset over, yet so forgivable because of how often we do them ourselves. Any given day at the Recreation Center, you’ll see a myriad of reactions to plays that would be technical fouls by NBA standards, but are just laughed at and quickly moved on from.
Am I saying that Bynum should be getting a pass from his apparent lack of maturity? Not at all, but it sure makes him seem a lot more human than the regular athlete with all of his immature outbursts. The fan wants to see the human side of players all the time and Bynum is as much of that as any team player can be.
And the best part about this guy is that he really doesn’t even seem to have any remorse about what he does. After the Houston debacle he was quoted, “I don’t have any regrets. Stuff happens. I was ejected for something that happens every game. I made a shot and felt like telling him about it.”
Bynum may not be a Ferrari, but the Lakers’ season certainly is. And he’s the one responsible for taking it down the home stretch — as long as he doesn’t crash it first.