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Andrew Bynum and Sun Yue: Exit interviews

Not sure how it happened, but Andrew Bynum's exit interview got passed over.  May have been my fault.  May have been BK's fault.  I'm certainly blaming BK no matter who's at fault.  In any event, we didn't want to keep folks from watching, so check 'er out below the jump.  I didn't have time to chop it up like previous batches, but did touch on some highlights.

Also, neither of us were available to record Sun Yue's session, but courtesy of, here 'tis as well.   Poor lil' guy is trying to add weight.  He's already put on twenty pounds (I'd honestly couldn't tell), but the brass still wants more.  That means more weights and perhaps some fried food, the latter Sun doesn't seem to mind.  Dude loves him some chicken wings.  Also good to know that he wasn't chapped after receiving just 28 minutes of 2008-2009 run.  As Sun rightly notes, he ain't the first rook to get buried on a depth chart.  Instead, it just pushed him to work harder and he found this experience quite valuable.  "When you play with the best basketball team in the world and the best basketball player, you can definitely learn a lot."

Sun wasn't specific, but I'm fairly certain the top dog player in question was Kobe Bryant.

Among the nuggets you shall learn from Drew's talkie below...

  • Bynum won't participate this summer with the National Team workouts in Vegas.  Instead, he's taking the first step in regaining 100% of his knee's strength, which is allowing it to heal up.  As was quite obvious upon watching him, Drew returned before truly "ready," a decision he says wasn't due to any outside pressure.  He just really wanted to "experience" playoff roundball, which proved quite the eye opener for the kid.  "Five minutes in the playoffs if like 15-18 minutes in the regular season.  The intensity is just that high, so it was great for me to experience that." 

    In particular, he was thrown by this revelation in light of dominating Utah in the regular season's 82nd game.  Those same Jazz players immediately rendered him wholly ineffective once bonus basketball commenced.  "It's like playing chess in the playoffs," said Drew of the non-stop adjustments.  "It's way different than the regular season games."
  • The biggest memory he'll take from the playoffs?  Fish's three to push Game 4 into overtime was obviously huge, but so were the flurry of three's Trevor Ariza to spark a comeback.  From there, OT, and "Fish gave another one of his Presidential speeches."
  • Drew enjoyed his first season playing with Pau and pictures them transforming into a truly dominate force.  But there are adjustments to be made, mostly on his end.  "I gotta get a little better at the high post game, so when he beats me down the court, he doesn't have to worry about always having to stay high."  From there, it's just about getting more time together, since they still haven't worked much in tandem.
  • After a series against Dwight Howard, he admires Superman's strong base, ability to block shots from the weakside, and work on the glass.  "He's a rebounding animal."
  • I asked Drew if it's sunk in yet that he was the starting center on a championship team.  Not really, but he figured it would once they get the ring and "meet Barack, it'll really set in."  Drew is really psyched at the chance to meet the basketball-loving President.  No hard fouls, though, if the Prez drives the lane.  

By the way, I love Bynum referring to President Obama as just "Barack."  No last name.  No "Mister" or "President."  Somebody fancies themselves getting all chummy with the free world's most powerful man, huh, Drew?

Previous Exit Interviews:


Comments () | Archives (35)

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"May have been BK's fault. "

You've been carrying him for the past three years!

I thought you were saving the beast for last.

" Dude loves him some chicken wings."

That's what models eat when they don't wanna put on any weight. He needs some carne asada burritos!

Bynum has all the potentials of becoming a great player. First, stop pouting when he's called for fouls, he has to start with good attitude and start calling Barack, Mr. President. He has to play a lot of basketball with Kareem, Rambis and Mbenga, then back to the tapes and do a lot of studying on Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, D' Dream Olajuwon study those moves and his mentor's hook shots. He should develop vast repertoire of the game. Play a lot of games with Kobe this summer and if he could fly to Barcelona, visit Gasol and develop a timing with him, perhaps one week of playing pick basketball with Pau and Marc, he develops his game and learn some Spanish language too. If lucky, he might date a senorita through the courtesies of the Gasol. Lastly, he is now on the way to 22, tell Mama Bynum to "let go" of his son and discover the world of his own.

Sun Yue, somebody hinted that Mitch will cut off Yue from the line-up. The only thing I envisioned there, he might be let go but still paid by the Lakers to play in Europe. Financially, he is profit center among the Laker players. His salary and luxury taxes are paid off with more residual created to pay other players. China has 300M fans, if 1% of those fans spend $1 equivalent to pay Yue's jerseys, shoes, cable, Laker tapes, that's equivalent to 3 million dollars vs. a salary of $0.7M. Secondly, look at his height, he could play 2 or 3 if he improves like Yao on his first year in NBA.

Right. u-huh. Blame it on the bald guy.


Some excellent thoughts about the coaching succession decision facing the Lakers. I had posted earlier that it might be a good time to appoint an assistant head coach and designated successor to Phil who would handle the team on the road until the playoffs. It was interesting to hear Phil comment that he might not do all the traveling. It could be a good opportunity to see how the team would respond to Curt Rambis or Brian Shaw.

The situation reminds me a lot of when George Sieffert took over the helm of the 49ers from the great Bill Walsh. The Niners still went on to win one more Super Bowl although George was more of a caretaker than coach. With Kobe and Fish, you could see that this team could still thrive and prosper with an assistant head coach handling the road.

Unfortunately, the Lakers have a bigger championship window in front of them than the aging Niners did. I still hope we can get Phil to complete this three-peat before he rides off into the sunset or hopefully the front office. At any rate, this team was built for the Triangle and it would be great if we could find a new coach who could continue to run it. Can’t say that I like any other offense out there as much. It just breeds good team play.

But even if Phil stays a couple of more years, we will still need a new coach to keep this dynasty and the next one going. Wish we had a great young star on the staff. Maybe that is the answer. Go out and bring in some charismatic young coach whom Phil and his older staff can mentor and groom to be the successor. Probably sucks if you are Kurt Rambis or Brian Shaw but if we have to bring someone in from outside to be Phil’s successor, it would be great to do while Phil was still around and so he could learn the Triangle. That’s the only way I see that we can go outside and still keep the Triangle.


p ang - that was hilarious!

re: mitch thread... I choose to believe that he's just being sneaky and that the draft (even with lousy picks) is of the utmost importance. after all, summer's slim pickins.

Kobe deserves his new jewelery.

Tom and Edwin... lots of food for thought. Phil's shoes will be hard, if not impossible to fill. I like Shaw, I like Rambis... but the expectations will be so high. The idea of bringing somebody from outside the system, to learn the system, is intriguing. I don't really see it happening but it's fun to think about. Who out there could do it? Btw, I'd like to see Musselman back in the league. I'm NOT saying to coach the Lakers. Just, to coach someone.

The 49ers won two Super Bowls under Seifert - second of the back-to-back (dismantling Elway and the Broncos), and then the Steve Young humiliation of the Chargers.

A trade idea some of you might like... a lot.

So I don't know if you've heard, but Washington is trading Songalia,
Pecherov, Etan Thomas & the #5 pick to Minnesota for Randy Foye and
Mike Miller. One side effect of this is that it makes the Wizards'
guard rotation really deep. So deep that one Javaris Crittenton
may be buried on the bench.

And in fact, Washington will still be flirting with the luxury tax line
after the trade. So they might be interested in a trade to dump
a little bit more salary.

For example, Javaris Crittenton for their choice of...
- DJ Mbenga - to replace one of their overpriced bigs

- Sun Yue - to be an even cheaper deep bench guard

- some set of draft picks (this year's first? a couple of seconds?
next year's first?


- nothing.

The Lakers have a trade exception from the Mihm deal, so they
could take on Crittenton's salary without having to give any
salary back to the Wizards.

The thought should make some of you Farmar haters drool.

Brian Shaw did a great job scouting the Orlando Magic in the Finals. The Lakers were able to run the triple post and the pick n roll to near perfection. He seems to have a better understanding of the Triangles offensive schemes. Between Kurt and Brian they can hold their own on the road and Phil can coach of the home games. If that's what it takes to keep him on another two years, its a great idea.

I'm not a Farmar hater, he will never be our starting guard though. Listen to the ESPN interview with Phil. Shannon Brown gets a nice mention.

I'm fine with Rambis working his way into head coach. Sacto thought enough of him to offer him the job. Everybody is holding that short stint he did as head coach 10 years ago against him, he's had a lot of time to learn under Phil, he works well with Bynum, he knows the system, why not give him a shot? Krzyzewski would be an absolute disaster, 82 games, remember? THEN the playoffs start... We don't want some retread like Hubie Brown or god forbid... Larry Brown... what other realistic options are there? Bryon Scott? No, ridiculous, you want to see him try to control Kobe? LOL!

Does Fisher want to coach? The timing works, he is almost like an assistant coach now, if Rambis doesn't work out next year, the year after, Phil could be like Tex Winter and guide Fisher but not have to travel or lead practices and so forth. Just a thought...

I'll coach the Lakers.

Or not - I'm flexible.

AK's just jealous BK gets all the adulation and drooling fans.

Sun, our favorite Human Victory Cigar with an Injured Ankle. :)

I was thinking about Mitch's statement of only carrying 13 players... does anyone believe that?

I have a hard time with the idea of no new rookies this year. To me, it's one of the really exciting aspects of the game, developing new players. Then again, there's some real logic to the idea of not having to invest the time in teaching the system to someone new.

Dallas Raines' Hair,

I really love your suggestion of Derek Fisher as the Lakers next head coach. We know he understands the Triangle. And he is a proven leader as shown by his co-captaincy of the Lakers and his election as President of the NBA Players Association. Just a great suggestion! And you know that Kobe would approve. And talk about a character guy.

It’s sort of like Avery Johnson taking over for Don Nelson except that Fisher is better suited to be a head coach. You have just eliminated all of my doubts over who will be Phil’s successor. DFish is the perfect candidate. Smarts, charisma, respect, clutch.

Derek has 2 years left on his contract so Phil could coach this year and then come back next years to complete his last three-peat and hand the reigns over to Fish. I sure hope Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak have been dutifully reading so that they know what to do. LOL. Seriously, though, I cannot think of a better guy to take over for Phil.

AK or BK should ask Derek if he is interested in coaching. I can’t remember if he ever spoke about possibly coaching down the road. I don’t know about those player-coach situations. I would prefer having a coach who just coached. Same with players.

Derek Fisher, the Next Great Lakers Coach. Mamba, come back and start the first real bandwagon of the offseason. LOL. We need to make sure Jerry Buss and company consider Derek as a candidate to take over from Phil. Even if he had to start as an assistant, I think the Lakers should set a clear path for Fish to join the coaching staff.

Thanks again, DRH. Fabulous suggestion.



"What Buss has spent to put this team together has cut into his profits significantly."

That is just not true. When ownership decides to pay players, they are not trying to "cut into their profits", they are trying to get a return on their investment. Better players lead to a better team, which leads to increased tickets sales, tv revenue, merchandising, playoff revnue, etc. Their investment in Kobe has reaped high dividends. Even at the max salary, it is still a good investment. The onus to pay the players is on ownership, not Kobe.
Please read CJ's post below:

"The Lakers are worth $584 million and are the second-most valuable NBA franchise behind the New York Knicks, according to an annual report on all 30 teams by Forbes magazine.
The Lakers were worth $24 million more than last year’s valuation and also had the league’s second-highest operating profit — $47.9 million (on $191 million in revenues.)"

Otis for new head coach bandwagon? Shoot, I'll join. Umm... and don't forget those season tickets for your pals?

Jon K.

I bet Kobe doesn't take less money.

I also think D-Fish could make a great coach. A big plus is that Kobe respects him & will listen to him--one of the few besides 10 Rings who can make that claim.

The Lakers owe him something after he retires--if not a coaching job, then some place on the support staff.

It's good that Bynum experienced first hand what playoff basketball is like. It'll hopefully keep his head from swelling too much the next time he demolishes the Clippers or such in some meaningless regular season game.

Oh yeah, the Lakers better keep Kareem as his mentor also. Bynum's still a kid so strong guidance is still vital at his stage.

"I gotta get a little better at the high post game, so when he beats me down the court, he doesn't have to worry about always having to stay high. From there, it's just about getting more time together, since they still haven't worked much in tandem.

These are the seeds of domination...provided that Bynum always plays with Gasol.

I still would like to see Bynum develop his 5 feet and in away from the rim game. He really didn't use it in the playoffs or Finals. Mostly he shot hooks and free throw-line jumpers. Not too many back 'em down, drop-step, dunks. No up and unders. Not too many of the low post moves he's unveiled in the past.

Possibly restricted by the staff? UNlikely, unless he was so extraordinarily bad in practice or they really caused him pain in his knee, I don't see why he wouldn't have used them.

I'd go with pain in the knee. Not something that you would talk about, easily masked by his competence, if not his consistency, in shooting the free-throw line jumper. Who knows, maybe he felt slightly intimidated by Howard.

Bottom line, over-all, I'd say he was a positive influence over-all in the playoffs and Finals. Memorable? No. But it's the start of a foundation, it's up to him to build a boooomb-ass house. And he got his first, true, taste of playoff -> Finals exposure.

1st Round Pick Laker Hat...$250.
Gold embossed Get-Well-Card from Kobe Bryant after he took out your left knee...$400.
Actually playing and expierencing the NBA FInals...priceless.

As far as Sun Yue is concerned. If he challenges Sasha for minutes and lights a fire under his rump, awesome. Otherwise I'll be happy if is a decent ambassador for the Lakers in China for the next few years and helps spread the word of the unstoppable Kobe Bryant. Not expecting much, hopefully he plays well if I catch a Summer League game.

I had a nice long, well developed post on why Kobe should take less money, but for some reason, my stupid explorer window froze. I lose.

Anyways, the cliffs:

The argument I make is, there are 2 options here.

1) Kobe does not opt out, but fulfills the last 2 years under the same contract. That allows them to backload TA and LO's contract, which gives them stability.

2) the deeper argument is to convince Kobe that by losing money on his contract for the Lakers, it allows him the longevity of winning, and a greater opportunity to be placed amongst the pantheon of winners with winning auras. Jordan, Magic, Federer, Woods, Schumacher, etc, etc.

Basically, less money for Kobe with the Lakers, will give the Lakers an opportunity to keep TA and LO. A greater opportunity for championsihps invariably means better ability to market himself and keep getting paid later. Jordan's brand is lasting well into retirement, and imagine that is worth something to Kobe as well. A couple of million now is a small price to pay for building an enterprise such as Jordan's or Tiger's. Moreover, the ability for "Kobe" doesn't have baggage abroad. He's iconic already, and gets to build upon that IF he keeps winning championships.

Damn, it sounded better the first time I wrote it.

sorry for the typos and grammatical errors on my other post.

Having some wine after a long day, and I'm starting not to see too straight.

GO LAKERS! **burp**

Freakin Mason and Ireland brought up the same idea I brought up a month or 2 ago.

Have Phil coach home games, have Rambis or whomever coach away games. Frak, great idea guys, glad you thought of it.

Laker Tom, Edwin Gueco, et al...

The next coach of the Lakers, in my mind, will be Kurt Rambis. He has the actual coaching chops that Shaw lacks (Rambis took over for Del "I don't know if we should play Kobe" Harris was canned in the lock-out shortened season), he dealt with this roster:
Shaquille O'Neal - Kobe Bryant - Glen Rice - Eddie Jones - Rick Fox - Elden Campbell - Derek Harper - Derek Fisher - J.R. Reid - Tyronn Lue - Robert Horry - Travis Knight - Sam Jacobson - Sean Rooks - Ruben Patterson - Corie Blount - Dennis Rodman

To think he won his first 10 games in a row with this team (before they acquired Rodman) is a feat that will go down as unheralded because Lawerence Frank and Byron Scott equalled or passed his Most Games Won After Taking Over As Head Coach record. Only Tyronne Lue and Robert Horry shot higher than 40% from 3-point land that season (with Derek Fisher coming in at .392%). He lost to the eventual NBA champion San Antonio Spurs winning The Admiral his second (I believe) ring. That Spur team was as primed to win as Phil's last three Chicago Bulls team. They had experience (The Admiral, Sean Elliot), Gregg Popovich was bursting onto the scene. Having a young, explosive Tim Duncan probably didn't hurt too much. Avery Johnson was the Fisher of that team. No shame in taking his journey that far.

But I, for one, would like to see if Mr. Rambis could walk a few more steps down the long, dusty road to an NBA Finals appearance and, dare I say, championship.

When Fish retires, if he wants, I don't see why he couldn't work his way from the Front Office to the bench (generally players have to log some phone time before they get to talk Xs and Os).

If one wonders why he's been interviewed for many NBA head coaching positions and hasn't landed one I pose this far from Phil Jackson and his Magic NBA victory Machine would you venture to "prove" yourself? Because, in my mind, a winner is a winner. Doesn't matter if you sweep the locker room or run the team. The vibe is the thing. All the teams national exposure over the last 12 years (2 Finals appearances in the last two years, playoffs for every year except for the Rudy T Experiment) and experience makes him ideal to take the reins after Phil ride off into the sunset on a humpback whale. My vote is Rambis. Tough player, tough man, tough coach.

Hell, Rambis for California Governor.

CJ and Lakertruth

Nice info. Thanks.

Seems like we're all hoping that Fish makes the transition to a head coaching position. I'd say we'll be seeing more "Le Bron can opt out of his contract in four years" hype tha Fisher joins the coaching staff of the Lakers as an assistant coach.

But the Fisher story will be more intriguing by far.

It would be a shame for the Lakers to abandon the Sun Yue project. Physicallly he won't mature for a few more years, I believe that's the way Asians are. (don't rant)...I've been following this type of thing since the days of Valeri Borzov, the Russian Sprinter who had great success in the 21 to 25 year age period. From personal experience I was always weaker than my non-Asian age peers, I don't think that you will see the best of Sun Yue until he is around 28 years old. So I guess the Lakers can't stash him for 5 years, It's a shame,, because he could be something special. I could never gain weight either, no matter how much I ate, or protein drinks,, not until I was in my 30's....and here I am at 51 and people say I look like I'm in my mid 30's and I have less than 10% body fat, and I'm not working out now, rehabbing,.
The economy must really be bad, or they're using it as a "reason" say 13 players.....If they keep this trend eventually they will be like the Spurs, but I'm sure it's just talk, and it's just in reference to next year...should bring in someone, new, so that they won't go nuts picking on each other..need a new "victim".....


I bet he will.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Just goes to show his immaturity still. Sure he probably won't call the President by just his first name (unless the President insists). Bynum is not a dumb player.

Really Bynum has the tools to be a great center. His immaturity is his own worst enemy. Heck even Dwight Howard when he was 21 was more mature and had led his team into the playoffs which the same can't be said about Bynum.

"In particular, he was thrown by this revelation in light of dominating Utah in the regular season's 82nd game. Those same Jazz players immediately rendered him wholly ineffective once bonus basketball commenced. "It's like playing chess in the playoffs," said Drew of the non-stop adjustments. "It's way different than the regular season games."

45.7% as a Center who plays mostly in the post shows how unprepared Bynum was for playoff basket.

Dwight is not as skilled as Bynum offensively but with heart, desire, WILL, and maturity became arguably the best center in the NBA save for Yao Ming. Bynum could be too, if his attitude didn't prevent him from becoming better (complaining after Game 2 of the Denver series, disappearing in the Houston series with almost no desire).

Why can't Ammo be the 14th that we're trying to get rid of? I see no reason at all to fall in love with Yue, but it still doesn't have to be him. I like continuity and he'll provide it because, face it, Ammo is gone.

There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to salary for a sports team, particularly where there is a luxury tax.

Did you guys pick up the dig Kobe sent at Drew in his exit interview? Do you think it was a dig?

When they asked Kobe what Drew had to work on during the off season, Kobe said, "His post game and shooting."

That in my opinion would be like asking Kobe what the K bros could improve and saying "their writing."

In both cases you are afraid to then ask, "Well what do you think they are good at?"

Personally, Drew's emphasis on resting and healing isn't very impressive. It isn't the one Kobe gave and doesn't sound like one a Kobe teammate should give.



I didn't see it as a dig. Drew talked about improving his high post game (i.e. shooting) as well, so he can play more effectively with Gasol, and talking about how a 21 year old center should improve and mentioning his post game is pretty normal. Ask Kobe where he can improve, he'd start saying things like my jumper, footwork, etc.

I found it to be a fairly innocuous answer to the question, unless I missed something.




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