Talk about your inescapable topics.
It’s been quite the year for this kid. Long considered to be the new management’s chosen one, Bynum has finally developed from would-be all-star into the genuine article, even if the character questions mount in a hurry.
Shit, in this month alone he’s been benched for shooting three pointers, fined for “numerous infractions”, defended by Kobe Bryant (who probably remembers what it’s like to be the fall guy from the Shaq days) for his child-like behavior and totally dominated on the court, averaging 22 points and 12 rebounds a game in March.
At the same time that Bynum is at last learned how to be a devastating force on the court, he’s learned just as much about being a divisive one off it.
Really, it all depends on your perspective. If you are a Laker fan, you might choose to ignore the history of dirty fouls like the ones that put Gerald Wallace in the hospital and almost killed poor little J.J. Barea. Likewise, you can turn a blind eye to the rebellious statements, the negative body language and the ridiculous post-basket celebrations he showcased in the Clipper game (I counted at least five staredowns of the Clipper bench), and instead focus on the fact that Bynum is emerging as the center in the West, and a legit franchise player.
Ignoring this little piece of business though, is a little tougher. (skip to 2:30)
In some ways this is a small thing, but when added to the rest of his recent shenanigans, it’s impossible to ignore. When it comes to pro sports, there really is only one level of winning that truly matters, and you have to ask yourself, does a kid like Bynum truly understand what this?
It’s bad enough that Pau Gasol had his manhood completely snatched from him. How much worse is it that his own teammate found it absolutely hilarious?When push comes to shove, would you want a guy who does shit like this on your team? Would anybody?
Statistically speaking, Andrew Bynum’s recent performance says he is a superstar, and a legitimate franchise player in a league where 7 foot superstars don’t grow on trees. Still, is this the dude you want your teams’ future to rest on? Do you have any faith in his ability to lead? Has he, or will he ever, grow the fuck up?
Well, chances are we are going to get answers to all these questions sooner than later, because this will officially be his team the moment he signs his contract extension. With only this year and the next left on his contract, the Lakers have exactly that long to figure out if this is the guy they want to build around, and should they choose to do so, they’re likely going to have to promise him the keys to franchise to get him to stay put.
For better or worse, this is the guy who is going to lead the Lakers in the post-Kobe era.
Personally, I find that hilarious. And not in a good way.