Andrew Bynum is an amazing basketballer. He has strength, size rarely seen, and can actually play rather than just be ‘big’. And there’s no doubting his passion for the game. He wants to win badly, and wants to be The Guy… however before this can occur he needs a good dose of “grow-the-f**k-up”.
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Of late, we’ve seen him be incredibly disrespectful to his coach, his teammates, and his team. Getting benched because he’s taking stupid shots – 3pt shots no less. Then mouthing off to the press to the effect that he’ll still continue to shoot them.
Now? Ejections for stupidity – talking back to referees, and generally being far to ‘talkative’ unnecessarily. In a game that nearly costs LA a win, he kinda gets away with it. But in a game where LA are in a tight battle against a Houston team are fighting for playoff position… and then the Lakers lose by 5? Just bone-headed stupidity. Follow that one up with a game where he shoots 10-27… ugh.
The thuggery displayed over the last few seasons could be attributed to “youthful exuberance”, and “frustration”… but I think it’s all part and parcel of the same problems we’ve seen of late. Immaturity.
Don’t get me wrong: after the wringer Dwight Howard has put his team through thus far this season, both with the “I-want-out-no-I-don’t-well…-maybe” crap, then the submarining of Stan Van Gundy (and THEN the audacity to be pissed with SVG for being honest about it with the press!), I’d prefer not to have Dwight on the Lakers… but if Bynum’s going to be the guy that LA is going to construct their future around, he needs to step up and be better than this. When Kobe Bryant sits out with an injury, and LA is playing against a Phoenix team barely able to keep their head above .500 (28-27 prior to the LA win), then you’d THINK Andrew Bynum would be able to hoist the team onto those massive shoulders and say “Here, ride me for a game”.
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And upon first glance, a 23 point, 18 board game (7 offensive boards!) is pretty similar to what’s required. Except… TWENTY SEVEN shots to get that 23 points??? Matched with going 3-9 from the charity stripe? Not a single block, not a single assist.
Simply not going to get it done.
Road to the playoffs is fraught with some very tough matches. However, the Japanese kanji for crisis can be loosely interpreted to be a combination of “danger” plus “opportunity”. Amidst the difficulties on the road to the playoffs, there is great opportunity waiting for those willing to seize it. Take a leaf off Kobe‘s webpage Mr Bynum: Carpe Diem…