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Criticism regarding Andrew Bynum's surgery is understandable, but misguided

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Lakers center Andrew Bynum stood near center court Saturday at the team's practice facility in El Segundo bearing a smile on his face. Surely, he knew the firing squad (the press) aimed, ready to barrage him with a litany of questions: his timetable after having offseason surgery on his right knee, why he didn't have an operation earlier and whether this serves as the latest chapter of "Andrew Bynum -- Many Injuries and Failed Recoveries."

Yet, he appeared as content as most players are during the first day of training camp, except he's entering the 2010-11 season with serious setbacks. Bynum shared in a matter-of-fact tone he's not expecting to play in a game until the end of November (missing eight pre-season games and as many as 18 regular-season contests). He reported that doctors told him he needed an additional four  weeks of rest before practicing. And he held zero regrets about how he handled his offseason surgery.

"Obviously, [people] want a player that they care about to be out there on the court come the start of the season," Bynum said. "I hear it, but at the same time, I had to do what's good for me and had to be ready as far as the surgery goes."

Bynum's level of thinking has created quite a reaction among writers and fans, who argue this serves as the latest example of Bynum's entitled attitude. He had surgery after attending the World Cup and Europe. He enters the 2010-11 season with yet another rehab process. And the situation doesn't exactly set the right tone for a team trying to three-peat.

The points those people have made have some validity, but they're misguided for several reasons I outline below. Bynum shouldn't be blamed for what amounts to a collective miscalculation among himself, the Lakers and the doctors for an event that's simply circumstantial.

Let's just start with the facts here. Bynum planned to have his surgery July 18 for the torn cartilage in his right knee he suffered during the 2010 playoffs, a date Phil Jackson said this week Bynum ran by both to him and General Manager Mitch Kupchak for approval during his exit interview. During that meeting, Bynum also brought up his desire to go to the World Cup, a plan Jackson actually liked because he thought it'd help Bynum relieve his stress and fatigue.

56345968The first step that didn't go according to plan involved the date of the surgery because Bynum's doctor, Dr. David Altchek, based in New York, didn't have an available date until July 28. Both defenders and critics regarding Bynum's surgery understand this situation. What they don't agree on, however, involves why Bynum originally planned surgery for July 18 when the Lakers won the championship on June 17, leaving him about a month's span of time to have the operation. Here's where the translation gets lost. Bynum doesn't do himself any favors when he openly acknowledges, "I don't know if I'm privileged enough to have the opportunity in four years to attend a World Cup. To me, I had a special moment. I had a good time and now I'm back." With Bynum willingly admitting and expressing no regrets for attending the World Cup, the tidbit perfectly feeds into the storyline that he cares more about his individual pleasures than what's best for the team.

But I guarantee you this: Had Kobe Bryant's rehabilitation gone longer than expected after getting arthroscopic surgery this offseason on his right knee, the criticism wouldn't ring as loudly toward the Black Mamba. Coincidentally, he also didn't have surgery until after attending the World Cup.The bottom line is that players deserve a vacation after a long season. In Bynum's case, he needed to mentally recharge from all the built up fatigue and pain he accumulated during the playoffs. Having surgery immediately after the season would only fuel his exhaustion even more because the operation itself requires energy and the rehab process would only exacerbate matters. Some may argue that had Bynum started the rehab process early, he would've had time to be fully healthy before training camp started. But he'd be doing it with very little stamina, leaving him vulnerable to other consequences down the road.

"The criticism isn't unfair because you could get the surgery the next day," said Bynum, whose rehabilitation involves lifting weights for his upper body, biking and abstaining from running and physical contact. "But you have to be ready to go into surgery. I don't think that's the thing that you want to do coming off a long season, coming off a championship. I took my time with it and I'm fine."

56333342Bynum's decision to go to the World Cup for vacation has zero bearing on his injury, anyway. This isn't Vladimir Radmanovic injuring himself while snowboarding. Bynum drained his knee before flying to South Africa and he experienced zero setbacks. The only reason the rehab process has taken longer is because Dr. Atcheck noticed the knee had worsened because of Bynum's activity during the playoffs. So, as Bynum put it, Atcheck killed two birds with one stone. Atcheck's original plan to cut away a piece of torn cartilage in Bynum's right knee soon deviated to sewing up the tear completely, hence requiring a longer recovery process to ensure better long-term health of his knee.

Now does that mean Bynum could've vacationed somewhere else instead of South Africa and Europe to ensure an earlier surgery date? Sure, but you shouldn't criticize Bynum with 20/20 hindsight. He was specifically told what his timetable entailed and he made his decision based on that. Judging by how much he showed he cared about his standing with the team during last year's post-season run, I'm convinced that had Bynum known ahead of time he'd possibly see a longer timetable, he  would've tried scheduling his surgery up a few weeks earlier to ensure enough rest and time to fully recover.

It's reasonable to criticize Bynum all you want for perhaps not leaving any room for worst-case scenarios from a tactical standpoint. But seeing this as an indictment on Bynum's commitment level seems as short-sighted as saying Bryant doesn't care if he hurts the team by not having surgery on his right index finger. Bynum weighed the variables of restoring his fatigue and mental health versus getting surgery in the same fashion Bryant assessed he'd rather play with a dinged-up finger (albeit healthier than last year) than have surgery that would entail a significant long-term rehabilitation process. Bynum wanted rest and a complete procedure so his knee wouldn't experience any future mishaps. Bryant believes he can play through his finger and the injury won't severely inhibit his effectiveness.

All that matters is how healthy the two are at the end of the season, anyway. Based on Bynum's extensive injury history, unfortunately, it's not safe to presume he'll be injury free for the rest of the season once he returns to the court. But don't blame that on Bynum's surgery schedule and attendance at the World Cup. The approach Bynum took served as the best choice based on the information that he had at the time. And much like he valiantly handled his post-season injury, Bynum will make the most of his circumstances with his rehab and his return. Just wait and see.

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photos, from top: Andrew Bynum is swamped by reporters during Lakers media day Saturday at the Toyota Sports Center. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times. Bynum is still recovering from off-season knee surgery and says he's not expected to return until late November. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times. Bynum holds his injured knee prior to the start of Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics on June 6. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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Bynum could hurt himself getting out bed so there is no guarantee he won't get hurt on April 1st.

Every Laker fan around the world will be holding their breath before, during , and after each game hoping he doesn't injure himself.

Lrob,

Haven't seen the new Wall Street yet. But Josh Brolin has been making some good films lately. He's come a long way from his "Goonies" days.

But I will say the original film laid the 80s pretty bare. Every bad fashion that surfaced at that time is in that film, including the faux brick wall in the apartment. Talk about cheesy. But I'm interested in seeing what becomes of Mr. Gecco.

But what I really want is to see is Scarface 2. If Jason can come back and chase around naked campers then surely Tony Montana can come back and chase a couple kilos of coke around Miami. The combination of the coke and a couple of voodoo curses, I think, could be the vehicle to bring back Tony.

Maybe a drug smugger is carrying a suitcase of coke over Tony's grave when he's ambushed and ridded with bullets. As the rain water washes the coke form the machine gun holes in the suitcase, it permeates the mud around Tony's grave, regenerating Tony's body. Tony has been reborn and only the taste of pure, Columbian style coke can quench his thirst and sustain his life. And so ironically, Tony comes back as a zombie hero ridding Miami of twenty, thirty drug kingpins per weekend. Hs thirst is unquenchable, you see.

Man. I have a terrible feeling they're stealing my idea right now.

Keep the genius within Wes...

Wes

Andrew Bynum to me is like an expensive exotic luxury car...

The upkeep is expensive, they are temper mental, one thing off, and it's like a string of problems...

But when it is fined tuned and calibrated...it's smooth, fast, and is their is no competition with the regular domestic models...

So yes my car is in the shop right now...but when it comes out...sparkling and running at peak performance...

I will own the road, with power, handling, speed and looking sleek and graceful doing it...

Lakers Daynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...

MM -

Great post on the Bynum story that wouldn't go away...With your detailed write up, maybe we can finally put it to restm and move on...

Are you posting a member's profile today...I have a request, please...Can we see the man that makes is happen...Mamba24...

If you do, I promise I won't post any more wrong pictures of you...lol

Lakers Daynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...

Trimmed Repost Compost

Warmish, coolish tropical breeze here. Just stopped raining. Another beautiful Sunday evening in Chiang Mai.

Have been away a couple-or-three days, and have read only the Laker Blog headlines; but I’m shocked, as I know many of you are.

Andrew can’t play. Andrew is out. Andrew needs to heal. Through November and perhaps beyond.

Like I’ve been saying, Get the picture?

Actually, the young man deserves a lot of credit. He’s no fool. In fact, he’s probably painfully aware that he’ll likely fall into the category of players who never achieved greatness only because of chronic injury. The same thing may happen to a couple of other potentially great young bigs on the Clippers and Portland, except they may not be lucky enough to even get some meaningful playing time in, much less pocket two championship rings. I’m sure Andrew is grateful.

(Andrew, my friends, knows the score, and besides, the World Cup only comes around once every four years. He is a black American and it was in Africa for crying out loud! Would you have missed it if you could do it in style like he did? And take your family? Furthermore, having attended it will not make one smidgen of difference to his long term prognosis, which is not good. He seems aware of that, even if many of you are not)

Andrew knows too, that he has become really no more than a good-luck-charm, a perceived part of essential ‘chemistry’ on a championship team, and I’m sure, deeply appreciates your support. Yes, he’s been involved with two championship teams. But tell me what half-way decent 7-footer wouldn’t have, playing only limited minutes next to Lamar, Pau, Kobe, and the rest of the supporting cast?
He knows it, even if many of you don’t.

I’ve always liked the kid, and thought he was special.
Nothing has changed in that regard, and all of you can write what you will....
but, one thing is an undeniable certainty:
Andrew has ailed, has had to walk on egg-shells, and could not consistently be relied on for more than partial service for most of his 6-year career.

Here’s a flash!
That ain’t gonna change folks, except to get worse, much worse.
He aint like most of the rest of us.
He is a giant who is ‘injury prone’.
He acknowledged this himself.

Sometimes you just gotta cut bait.

Oh, don’t worry. If Bynum can no longer carry it, Luke will bring it!

Go Sacramento Kings of Basketball!
Go Niners!
Go Giants!
Go Manny, go!

Sonnybelfast

First let me say I love Andrew Bynum. I think he will be the 2nd best center in the league if he stays healthy. I saw him in summer league at the Pyramid when he first came to the team. He had 14 points that game and 6 of his 7 shots were dunks. The place was going NUTS with visions of the lakers are back. And from that point on I was a believer, so if I may let me speak to Andrew for a moment...


Look, injury is not your fault Andrew. The cards you have been dealt suck and there's nothing you can do about that. But don't ever, ever, ever talk to laker fans about the World Cup being important. Don't even mention that! Lie to us and say "the swelling had to go down on my knee first, before I could do the surgery." Lie to us and say "even though I was out and about for the summer, I was getting around in a wheelchair passing the time as the doctor ordered until the Laker staff gave me clearance to do the surgery." Lie to us and say "their were complications following playing on the knee throughout the playoffs and I had to delay the surgery so that doctors could re-evaluate how to properly do the surgery." Don't mention World Cup Bynum and it's importance because to Laker diehards- IT'S NOT. Not even a little bit important.

Folks, there is only one Kobe Bryant is all I got to say. A guy who won't miss a game if his life (or his finger) depended on it. The only guy who has ever been compared to MJ. The only guy who could surpass MJ because he only sees winning as an option. The Matt Barnes training camp comment says it all. Matt tells reporters that when he gets to training camp he sees Kobe passionately talking to Ron Ron about how to fight through screens to get open. Really Kobe? The first day? You think Lebron or Bosh is doing that? No they are probably sitting in the stands with sunglasses on trying to make it through a hangover. And as for Bynum he isn't doing that either. He is young and he wants to have fun and that's completely understandable. But just remember this Andrew. That passion, that committment, that hard work that you put in means NOTHING if you can't go to war with your soldiers. The guys that need you. The guys that count on you to make it over that hill. You need to look in a mirror and ask yourself did you do everything you could do to be prepared for the most difficult season you have ever been a part of thus far. If the answers yes than we can all live with that. If it's no...


Get your butt in gear Andrew!

AB has his priorities not a great one but respectable. I see he wants to have afresh and healthy body come playoff time according to his timely healing process. I suggest AB invest in a hyperbaric chamber if he hasn't already done so. He should have enough money to afford one. If AB is not so familiar with this device he should give Mr superbowl MVP Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers a call.

For everyone who criticizes AB, please tell me this: "Have you ever taken a vacation?" The kid just toughed through a seven-game series to help us win a big one. He deserves a little break. You may say: "It's no big deal. Kobe does it all the time." Well, not everyone can be like Kobe. What AB did was very commendable for someone his age. Would you show up at work if you had his injuries? You should either drop the stone in your hand or get out of the glass house.
If AB comes back healthy with more than half the season left, we should be more than okay.
Go Lakers!

The bespectacled dude with the gotee, long hair, and wearing the bright purple and yellow hat to Andrews left rear...

Is that you, Fred?

Sonnybelfast

How can the comments on Drew's injuries whether it's pro or con be misguided?

Everyone is just concerned and let it be aired what they young man should hear. There is a devils advocate or guardian angel approach, both are trying to tell the young man what he needs to absorb in growing up. Try this experiment. Untie your shoe lace and walk around the Supermarket today and jot down the number of people who would approach you, stare at you, smile and point at your shoe lace. Because they are all concerned that you might trip as you walk nonchalantly and absentmindedly in different direction. This is the same treatment with Drew. Fans of both colors act as though they are his step father counseling or cajoling him from the predicament. It did not only happen once but happened before. It is also addressed to the adults like Dr. Atcheck, Mr John Black (Lakers PR man), Mitch Kupchak, Phil Jackson and Gary Vitti.....these people are supposed to be aware of the time line. If they're in a courtroom setting, the support attorneys should anticipate the defense's rebuttal and judges series of question while the sitting jury are intently watching. Well, it didn't happen that way, everybody had fun in summer except Mitch. Nobody was thinking of the scrutiny of the fans and reporters, they were all celebrating at the parade. Who would think Drew's knee would be an issue in September when all eyes are riveted on what is going on with Trio Los Panchos announcement of their roadshow?

Speaking of the Lakers parade, how come nobody thought of putting up a program to let the players speak? How come the sponsors of the Lakers did not put up some floats along the parade route? they could have asked the Rose Parade planners. Do they need a gargantuan stage for the program? Why not use the Double Decker Bus where the players rode as the podium? It's recessionary times, people understand that we need a little creativity in our usual ways. However, the show must go on, it is very seldom to get a Championship team, what more if it is back2back? Are the people concerned thinking of what to do if we hit the jackpot of 3peat? If you ask the Cleavelanders or Clipper fans how they'd react if they were proclaimed as Champs? I'm sure the euphoria from their officials will be more profound.

Edwin,

As I mentioned in the post, people who are worried about this bring up fair points....but this is how I say it's misguided in the sentence I wrote here: "It's reasonable to criticize Bynum all you want for perhaps not leaving any room for worst-case scenarios from a tactical standpoint. But seeing this as an indictment on Bynum's commitment level seems as short-sighted as saying Bryant doesn't care if he hurts the team by not having surgery on his right index finger." I mention in the post how the intentions from Bynum's end were pure, determining his vacation schedule based on the timetable he was given and clearing the idea up with the Lakers' front office. It's not as if Bynum was saying he's going to the World Cup, no ifs ands or buts. He went because he determined based on the information he was given that it would fit in with his rehab schedule.

MM

jayden24 - To a degree, Andrew is still young and doesn't exactly have the art in playing the media spin game. But as I mentioned in the post, Kobe went to the World Cup too BEFORE he got surgery. Say his rehab process went longer than expected? Is his commitment to the team questioned? I highly doubt it

MM

LEWSTRS - Thanks for the love. Regarding the Lakers blog profiles, I planned to publish those when the team has days off or there isn't too much of news going on. So for example, when the Lakers travel to Europe I will definitely post some profiles since I'm not traveling and there will be no interviews to attend to. I just figured that'd be the best way to fill the news vacuum and so readers profiles don't get shuffled in the mix among the various Lakers news of the day

MM

Sonnybelfast

Feeling you, that's Vic da Brick Jacobs. He is an icon here in LA. OK, he's going to entertain you below, are u ready?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9DjQ4O3k8c&feature=related

Mark -

Are you joining the Fantasy League that phred set up...See if Dan Loumena is willing to join...

I don't know if this will cramp your schedule...but draft day is on the 15th...day before the Staples Shootout...

We see your journalistic skill...now let's see how good you are as a GM...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation

#17 Coming Up...

LEWSTRS - I believe so. I'll settle in once the Lakers go to Europe and try to catch up. There's obviously a lot going on with training camp so just trying to settle with that first

MM

I think the criticism of Bynum has been more then fair. Lets face it, the guy has never recovered according to schedule, so why would this time be any different? The guy is a professional getting paid a lot of money, and he should have taken care of business first instead of worrying about his vacation. I really am tired of people making excuses for him. If the guy wants to take it easy, then he should take a pay cut and figure a way to make it on a mere 5-6 million a year.
Also, isn't it possible the guy could have made it to a world cup games with the surgery?
I have had surgery on my knees and back, and still managed to attend sporting events within a short time. You can hear it in Bynum's tone of voice when asked about such things.....he really doesn't care. That's what concerns me. Do you want the future of your franchise dependent on such an individual?

MM,

"But seeing this as an indictment on Bynum's commitment level seems as short-sighted as saying Bryant doesn't care if he hurts the team by not having surgery on his right index finger." - Mark M.

~~don't intend to put u on the spot but this what Bryant said about his finger..."The surgery takes too long to recover with the kind of surgery I need to do to fix it," Bryant said. "I would just miss too much of the season. It didn't make sense. To miss so much of the season I could play with doesn't make any sense."

If we have Drew and Bryant (because he proceeded with the finger surgeries) in Nov and Dec, that would be catastrophe. In the case of Kobe, the surgery of fingers were not his priorities, he reinvented himself to be serviceable for the team. It is between Kobe-think vs. Bynum-think. Both of them are only high school graduates, yet the former has more experienced in a bigger stage.

Durability is a factor of career greatness. Kareem, Wilt, Russel, Hakeem...

Andrew isn't durable but he can still have a great season.

GO Lakers

Mark,
Great article and glad to see that Andrew is getting some love, or at least some understanding from the media.
having said that, do you find it odd that the original scheduled date for the surgery was on a Sunday. Subsequently, it was later stated that the doctor had a scheduling conflict and had to move the date. Really? Doc wasn't available on Sunday?? I do NOT put this on Andrew, but rather, on a team of people who should have collaborated to make sure the date was set in stone, including the surgeon.
I haven't heard of any games missed during the World Cup due to a "scheduling conflict". Incidentally, you believe that the criticism is misguided. So I ask, who should it be guided to? Andrew did say he needed some ME time, emphasis on "me". I've said it before and I will say it again. He deserved a vacation and some rest. A month seems a little long to postpone a surgery for the sake of "me time".
Lastly, you are absolutely right that Kobe would not be getting criticized if he were the one not being ready to go. His reputation precedes him though, (work ethic, heart, commitment, relentless will to win) and that's all that needs to be said about that. Good job overall MM.

Another thing Mark M. as a reward for your indefatigable efforts in carrying the load work of the former Kbros, LAT should send you to London and Barcelona and be there with the team. How much is the air fare today in going to London? Are the sponsors of Lakers Blog not afford to foot the bills?

If a 13m player who seldom play in the 4th quarter could attend the World Soccer while junking the preseason, what more for the Blog honcho who works relentlessly 7/24 without an intern or a brother as an assistant?

Edwin - I'm defending Kobe in the argument. I'm simply lumping him in the issue because even though Kobe and Bynum took different approaches in terms of surgery, it's all with a practical purpose. Kobe's position and skillset gives him versatility to change his game because of his finger. Andrew, and for any big center, can't really change their game with a bad knee. His role is to be a big man and score a post presence. He made do what his damaged parts in the playoffs, but that's not a long-term strategy. On the same note, Kobe also had surgery on his knee because he just would not be effective without it being healthy. Clearly, everyone saw that before he got it drained during the playoffs. Coincidentally, Kobe also had surgery AFTER attending the World Cup. I'm not criticizing Kobe in any way here, but if his rehab had setbacks, he would not be getting the criticism that Andrew is getting right now

Laker J - I state in the post that the criticism is misguided in that it shouldn't be solely directed at Andrew and the episode shouldn't be seen as an example of Bynums' entitled attitude. So where should the criticism be guided to? Everyone, ranging from Bynum, the team and his medical people are equal to blame for the miscalculation. But it was a simply honest mistake. That's why Phil and Bynum's teammates (at least Pau and Fisher) took the stance that of course they'd love to have him out there, but they're not scolding him for anything other than just expressing home his rehab goes well

MM

Edwin - Haha I LOVE your level of thinking and I appreciate the support. I would love to travel as well, but it's simply not within LAT's operating budget to send me out. It's tough times in the industry as you well know, so they're trying to make cuts anyway they can, which includes me not traveling until the Finals (assuming they make it). Mike Bresnahan will be in London, however, and will file any pertinent news updates when he's there.

MM

"Coincidentally, Kobe also had surgery AFTER attending the World Cup"


What? He is getting paid 26 million to play professional basketball! I have no sympathy. Playing with a missing finger is no more than I expect from a guy who I get a free pass to criticize! He should have prepared for the worst case scenario!

How can he go gallivanting around the globe, probably tickling playboy bunnies with his damaged finger, I'm sure his doctor could have scheduled knee surgery!

What double standards?

Kobe also had surgery AFTER attending the World Cup. I'm not criticizing Kobe in any way here, but if his rehab had setbacks, he would not be getting the criticism that Andrew is getting right now - MM

Absolutely agree. Kobe could have been torched also by the haters and trolls. This is like Kobe on the air with three guards in front of him- an ordinary player would say he should not have taken that shot. Kobe says, I saw the opening and calculated the timing, it's a clear shot that an ordinary naked eye could not see. While Bynum says: i saw the opening too and @ 7'1" who would think I will be blocked by Plaschke and those kibitzers on the blog. lol!

"You can ship HIS fat ass out of town"

- Fatty commenting on Plashke and his article

The real story is not about Drew, but about the guy who wrote the article.

Unlike Shaq, who stated he would heal on the Lakers time, not his. Drew went to the Lakers, honestly discussing his injury issues, and then looking for a consensus with his desire to attend the World Cup.

Drew and the Lakers management agreed on a plan ......together.

Plashke knowingly omitted this reasoning from his article and built his foundation on a false premise. Andrew is selfish and has a bad attitude. (Mark, although accurate, you were way too kind to Plashke)

Whenever I think of Plashke, which isn't too often, I think of the reporter from the movie, 'The Natural'. Sleazy, unethical, and willing to hurt someone's career for his own betterment. "Hey, you co-operate with me or I can break you". Drew must have hurt his feelings at one time......maybe by taking the last meatball on a buffet which Plashke wanted? (idk)

Plashke knows how to write well. But unfortunately, he's fallen to the dark-side of reporting. "He will do anything for a buck". Even if it hurts others in the process.

My suggestion? Plashke should move over to political commentary. He would fit right in.

Fatty

PS. Mark, you got some 'real cajones' to take on a senior Times Columnist, like you did. I'm proud of you.

MM

Superb article! Nothing more needs to be said.

"Mike Bresnahan will be in London, however, and will file any pertinent news updates when he's there." - MM

That's the problem with Bresnahan, "when he's there". Half the time he's eating at fine retaurants, and the other half, he visiting vacation spots. (see Las Vegas Summer League reports) lol Please, I'm only kidding. (sort of)

Fatty - Thanks for the love. It's not about taking on a Times columnist. Plaschke is an amazing writer and he is passionate about his work. I owe him and every Times colleague a huge debt of gratitude for their deep support and mentorship. I simply just have a different take on the issue. Plaschke's column was his own thoughts and he backed it up with his own arguments. You can disagree, but that's what columnists do. They state their opinion and then explain their reasons on topics that promote discussion. There's plenty of articles Plaschke has written that I agree with, some don't. But that doesn't mean the article isn't valid. It's the market place of ideas and different points of view. This issue is minor compared to real world problems. But what bugs me about our current society with organizations and media is that if you don't agree with someone, they're suddenly an adversary and the attacks start becoming personal. Instead, the tone should be more understanding on different points of view and then explain why you might think differently.

MM

Stop coddling this kid... He "scrued up" and it's as simple as that. I don't want to hear about much needed vacations or how hard they "work." They're grown up men playing a kid's game for big bucks. They get paid to "PLAY." It must be a real drag to make millions in exchange for staying in shape, getting rest, playing basketball and having women throw themselves on top of you after playing games throughout the country. That sounds like a real drag... I'm glad I don't have to do that for a living. Lucky me... Furthermore, to compare Kobe to the kid is ludicrous. Kobe has history and so does "Drew." And I don't care about be saavy in front of the media because of his age. we have enough saavy to deal with when we have to listen to our politicans. it's a sport and they're paid big money to win. they're not here to satisfy us, just themselves and the owners that pay them the money to play. as fans, we just want our team to win and want to see players take the game they supposedly love more serious than we do. i'm sorry, i didn't see andrew display of committment to the team, the game or the owners. so what? he played hurt. for $13+Mil, i'd play too and i would've got that surgery as soon as humanly possible and you know what? if the doc didn't want my money, i would've found another expert who did and spent my whole summer rehabbing and getting ready to defend my title, especially since i only played the equivalent of one season since being with the team and gettng fitted for two rings. at 23, i think i would've had an opportunity to watch a world cup and knowing that i would retire before 40 never having to worry about money again. how much more opportunity do you need mr. bynum???

Fatty- See, FCM has some political skills.

I agree with both of you, I think.

FCM- Get in the fantasy league! Before it is too late! You don't have to do anything, just follow the link, enter the ID, and think up a team name. Draft is the 15th, or thereabouts.

Mark - Thanks for the response, appreciate it very much.

I really meant what I said about why I'm proud of your article response.

The former mods were afraid to comment adversely about Plashke or Simers. Almost to the point of apologizing for them. Just the fact you took a different view from Plashke is something they would not have done.

One thing I like as a commenter is the freedom we have to express ourselves. All the terminology I used in my little comment is exactly the type of words and phrases you would see from Plashke or Simers. I love to use the same sort of reasoning on them when afforded an opportunity to do so.

Andrew Bynum,

LEARN TO LIE TO US! PLS. WITH ALL THOSE MONEY YOU'VE GOT.... YOU'VE GOT TO HIRE A PUBLIC RELATION COMPANY WHO IS AT BEST KNOWS BULLSHITTING..... LEARN TO LIE.

ENJOY YOURSELF FIRST THAN ANYTHING ELSE AND THEN THE UNIVERSE WILL MATCH YOUR VIBRATION.

DON'T EVER LISTEN TO ANY CRITICS!!! LISTEN TO YOUR COACH PHIL JACKSON.... HE KNOWS VERY WELL ABOUT HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS.... JUST KNOW THAT WHAT YOU PUT OUT IS WHAT YOU GET.

LEARN TO LIE!!! GO AND HAVE FUN AND ENJOY ....

FRIEND OF MARY C.

Mark Medina,

You're a very good moderator. Very balanced!

Fatty - Appreciate the love, but your'e factually incorrect that the K Bros never dissented with Plaschke's and Simers opinion. Heck, they devoted a whole post to it after the 2009 NBA Finals win

MM

MM -

Sorry, I made the mistake of using the absolute word 'never'.

'Almost always' would have been more accurate. (See entire history of K's blogging)

"I love competing, I love playing, I love working," Bryant said. "I don't really need any outside motivation to get me going. I'm just wired that way. I'm here. I'm here to win, I'm here to focus and do my job. That's what I'm going to do."
One day he physically won't be able to do it anymore. That's why, as much as the New Day Co-op in Miami and the up-and-coming Thunder in Oklahoma City, the ability of a 32-year-old Bryant to fend off the effects of age and more than 1,200 regular-season and playoff games will be one of the top storylines of the season. - excerpt from j.a. andande
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=adande_ja&page=kobemedia-100925
_______
This is why you want vets and not the young kids who tend to take things for granted. barnes is hungry, artest, fish, l.o. and the youngins ride their desperateness to win at all costs. Andrew is certainly not there yet but he'll get another ring whether he contributes - to the level of his salary - or not.

I've been reading all of the debate over "BynumGate- 2010," and I have to agree with those who beleive that he should have had this surgery ASAP.

I just don't get it that he couldn't have found a doctor in L.A. that could have performed the operation a week after the season ended. He could have taken his vacation a month later. Yes, he would have missed the World Cup, but this guy gets paid waaay to much money and has been coddled waaay too much since he's been here for that to be his number one priority.

The Lakers, and their fans, have invested so much time and money into this young kid and all we want back is for him to be comitted to winning just half as much as Kobe is.

"Frmkt"- your post was totally right on and I agree with it 100%!

After listening to Bynum's response regarding this issue, I don't beleive that he's our next franchise player. When he gets injured again, what's his trade value going to be then? I say trade him for one or two players who actually desire to win a ring over anything else in their lives and who are not satisfied with playing half a season every year.

Nice defense of Bynum, but I'm still not willing to give him a pass. Several of the points you make just don't hold up. (1) Bynum's attitude is the real issue, not necessarily his medical history. Instead of being so damn nonchalant--"I took my time with it and I'm fine"--he should be apologizing to the fans and the organization, even if it is a token gesture, for having to put up with this again. (2) No Kobe comparison's, please. How many rings does Kobe have? How many MVPs does Bynum have? How many scoring titles? Sure Kobe would get a pass, because he has earned it. Bynum, despite what he contributed during the Finals, still has a lot to prove. (3) How can you say all that matters is if he is healthy at the end of the season? What if they get off to a poor start, which is entirely possible given their schedule and the new additions to the team. Yeah, he's healthy at the end of the season, but they don't have home court against, say, Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals, or against Miami in the Finals. Home court advantage made the difference against the Celtics, so don't tell me it doesn't matter. Every game matters. (4) Bynum is a 23 year old kid, and we are talking about "stress" and "fatigue"? Please. He get's paid millions of dollars and just won a second championship. Do we really want to have him as the cornerstone of the franchise when he is already dealing with "stress" and "fatigue" at this young of an age?

@MM… I continue to be impressed and thankful that we have you as our blogger and moderator. Great to see you coming out and taking a stand on some of the more prickly issues on the blog. The controversy that surrounds Andrew Bynum continues to amaze me. You did a superb job addressing the various facts and issues. I am sure many Bynum supporters with concerns were grateful to read your recap. Unfortunately, I doubt that it will result in any Bynum Bashers changing their tune.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

I think it is about time people get off Drew's back. It is his body, and his decision and from what I have read, the only people that are having a problem with it are some media journalist's (I use that term very loosely), fans and haters. When Drew comes back and has a few good games all will be forgotten. Although I can still see some stating that if he would have done the surgery earlier and was back at the start of the season, the Lakers would have won 70 games instead of 62 LOL

jayden24 - To a degree, Andrew is still young and doesn't exactly have the art in playing the media spin game. But as I mentioned in the post, Kobe went to the World Cup too BEFORE he got surgery. Say his rehab process went longer than expected? Is his commitment to the team questioned? I highly doubt it

MM

Posted by: Mark Medina | September 26, 2010 at 09:16 AM

-----------------
Wow, highly impressive Mr MM.
Well said and I think this comment deserves the BCOTD (Blogers Comment Of the Day). And RCOTD.

Well guys, I'm going to have to take a mulligan. I just read Brian Kamenetzky's post here (http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/lakers/post/_/id/10680/andrew-bynum-four-points-on-a-lost-first-month) assessing many things about Andrew Bynum's situation and he told him during media day that knowing what he knows now, he still would've gone to the World Cup. I'm sorry. I feel disappointed that I went to great length in defending Bynum, but that answer is unacceptable for obvious reasons. With the money he's making and the commitment that's needed for the team, that's way too selfish and short-sighted of an answer. I give him credit for being honest, but that's definitely the wrong mindset to have

MM


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