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Andrew Bynum's refusal to disclose a specific timetable shows maturity in handling rehab

As Lakers center Andrew Bynum ran up and down the court, he couldn't help but notice how his wide-eyed personality contrasted with his teammates'.

"For me, it's like my first training camp," Bynum said after Monday's practice at the team's facility in El Segundo. "Everyone else is like, 'Ughh.' But I'm excited and I'm out here just trying to get back."

Bynum's youthful exuberance is understandable considering he's only 23, but sometimes that comes at a price, most notably regarding how candid he is with the media regarding his injuries. Yet, when asked after Monday's practice whether he has a specific timetable for his return, Bynum altered his usual candor and pleaded the fifth: "Not really. I just want to play within a month. I just want to get enough practices in just so it's not too far so when I do get in a game, I can pick up the pace."

That comes as a new and smart step in Bynum's growth on how he handles injuries, considering he's already altered his timetable three times this season, one for late November, early December and around Christmas. Whether or not he returns during the six-game trip that begins Friday at Chicago and ends Dec. 19 at Toronto remains to be seen, though he reported zero pain and swelling after participating Monday in a full-court five-on-five scrimmage. In the meantime, he appears to be making a better effort to stay on team message, as his vague timetable eerily echoed Phil Jackson's sentiment: "I just can't put a date. I know there's a date thrown out there, but I can't imagine it'd be that long. But I don't want to inhibit any progress."

Considering that I'm part of the media and have heard zillions of cliches, I would personally rather hear the old candor. But from a practical standpoint, it's a good thing Bynum isn't being so specific. That doesn't mean reporters shouldn't still ask questions about his injury and his current timetable. It doesn't mean we shouldn't still report any updates regarding injuries. And it doesn't mean we shouldn't still  press for more specific information. But I take zero offense when players, such as Kobe Bryant, refuse to discuss at length their wear and tear. Though it makes the information gathering a harder job for us, I understand why an athlete wants to keep the talk minimal.

Most coaches and players understand these questions are a necessary evil; most reporters just want to make sure they're covering their bases. But the process itself can be nauseating. They're opening  themselves up to more commentary about their injury and ineffectiveness. Providing estimated timetables seems to create more misinformation because then it's believed among the general public the player has experienced a medical setback when in fact the estimate was just incorrect. It reminds me of a classic Simpsons episode that featured the teachers' union going on strike. To feed the hysteria, Bart told one teacher that Principal Skinner believes "the teachers will crack any minute." After the news passed through six sources, Skinner's assessment soon translated to "The teachers will crack any minute, purple monkey dishwasher."

And most importantly, talking about injuries at length seems to provide a psychological effect on whether a player can truly tolerate the pain they're experiencing. 

There's never an exact science to this: Bryant knows his body pretty well, but keeps most in the dark about his state of being. Pau Gasol is also well versed in the medical field, but remains more open. But in Bynum's case, there's rarely a time when he's not hurt. And with the center appearing closer and closer to coming back, it's best to let his on-court action speak for itself. 

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

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

 
Comments () | Archives (24)

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"But in Bynum's case, there's rarely a time when he's not hurt. And with the center appearing closer and closer to coming back, it's best to let his on-court action speak for itself."
========

And we look very forward to that!

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!!

Bynum seems to return sooner rather than later -- healthy for the first time in 3 years. Hopefully he will be able demonstrate dominance that makes him potentially among the best NBA centers.

Good stuff MM.

Music to my ears....Drew saying he can jump as high as ever. Also good to hear AB say he had no pain today especially since he felt a slight twinge yesterday.

Thoughts on the Lakers defense.


This Lakers team will never be a great defensive team with or without Drew. It's no knock on the team. It's just who they are. A team built for offense that can play exceptional defense for a 6-8 stretch to sieze control of a game (similar to the Showtime Lakers). At this stage of his career Kobe is more dominant of offense than defense. Pau is more skilled and Drew's passion is on offensive end. Plus, it hard to be a great defensive team when without a big man with the foot speed to defend the P/R and recover to guard the paint.


When you think of great defense teams in the last 20-25 years you think of the Bad Boy Pistons, Riley Knicks, the 04 Pistons and 08 Celtics. Those teams hung their hats on defense. They were all physical, they didn't care how much they scored because they knew they could shut down their opponents and they sacrificed offense by playing defensive specialist/s.


The Lakers defense needs to and will improve especially in protecting the rim. But let's not get unrealistic in our expectations.

LRob - I agree, they'll never be shut-down, except for 6 to 8 minute spurts (in which they go on 17-0 runs), but they're just not doin' it at all right now. They have to bring energy to the D and rotate better for the whole 24 seconds, and then rebound. It'll come, but it's within themselves (Drew or no).

Can't wrap up discussion on Ladies of the 80's without giving some love to the former Miss America...aka former Mrs. Fox...Vanessa Williams. Very talented and certainly has the Right Stuff.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Urr8J3RYQ


@Lew - nothing wrong with admiring a beautiful sister...lol.

LRob - man o man...Nothing wrong at all with Vanessa...loved her...even after the Penthouse spread was revealed...

But I don't think she released any music until the 90's...

She is so hot, and still is...don't matter what era she was in...

THE ANTI-TOP TEN LIST
politically correct or mushy love comments never considered

10. A Keen observation from above:

'sad what's happened here, this blog has become a caricature of itself'.

So true. It's like going to a church social,where everyone shows up wearing their little hats and giggles over whose turn it is to bring the crispy cremes.
It's a coffee klatch with no nads. Then again, it is an L.A. fanbase...so no surprise there. But where is a good Mr. Tienente when you need one?

Posted by: Sonnybelfast | December 06, 2010 at 06:11 AM

9. With a bit more training, perhaps, Gasol can perform Artest's much needed lobotomy.

Posted by: waus | December 06, 2010 at 06:45 AM

8. Since the big traitor claims the best team he's ever played on are the Celtics, let them give him a statue. The Laker organization appreciate Shaq's contribution to the 3 peat, he's burned to many bridges. Nevvver, Everrr will this Big CLOWN stand outside Staple. Now let's move on, to much time has been givin to this immature Retard.

Posted by: Justa Hater | December 06, 2010 at 04:57 PM

-----If shaq gets a statue it should be in front of Burger King in honor of his famous double whooper combo with his signature nacho cheese fries. Now that was a great combo!

Posted by: yellofever | December 06, 2010 at 01:45 PM

----Hopefully Bynum can get through the season without anymore vaginal tears, let us pray.

Posted by: Gangstaslapped | December 06, 2010 at 02:33 PM

------SHOCKED AND SURPRISED TO SEE NO POST FROM Bynum's one and only staunch supporter....

I am sure someone is feverishly working on a long post on Bynum's return and what he means to this team....a glowing report on Bynum's merit.....tik tok tik tok.

Posted by: Morther Teresa's Admirer

NOT FINISHED JUST A ROUGH DRAFT WENT BY BY MISTAKE

LRob

I disagree in one very important respect. Here are the point totals for the Magic and Celtics in the Lakers' last 8 NBA Finals wins:

Orlando:

75, 96 (OT), 91 (OT), 86 = 87 ppg average, including 2 OT wins.

Boston:

89, 84, 67, 79 = 79.75 ppg average.

The Lakers have proven time and time again that they can win playing ANY style of basketball. They can beat up tempo teams at their own game, teams that bomb away and teams that play a half court game and lock down on defense. No, it is not who the Lakers are, but it ain't who they ain't either. It is certainly who they can be when they need to be.

Totally irrelevant to Andrew Bynum but have you guys heard this song by Snoop dogg saying the lakers are gonna threepeat?

I love it

had to share:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vY5nofVeBc

Will post it again on the next chat!

Troll Man- CONGRATS on RCOTD.

888- The Lakers have not proven this season that they can play any sytle, at this point their still trying to get themself in a comfort level play.

Diandra - Great find. I'm going to find an edited version and post it up when I find it

888- The Lakers have not proven this season that they can play any sytle, at this point their still trying to get themself in a comfort level play.

Posted by: Justa Hater | December 06, 2010 at 09:18 PM
=====

You're talking to the wrong fan about ANYTHING relating to this "season" because I am the one who gets lambasted by everyone for (properly) referring to it as the "practice season." I could CARE LESS what they have done or haven't done this early in the season. It's meaningless. Their starting center hasn't even played one game yet.

Some memories are short, but please allow me to refresh your memory about last "practice season" in case you forgot. The Lakers won very few "statement" games last season. They lost 6 out of their last 11 games down the stretch. Yet they flipped the switch in the playoffs and won playing every style of basketball imaginable. They beat a young, fast, athletic, defensive oriented/fast break team in Round 1. They beat a physical team in Round 2. They beat a run and gun team in the WCF. Then they beat a rugged, physical former champion in the NBA Finals.

You can say that was then and this is now. I don't buy it. Not only is this the same championship team you saw in June, it's better. It's deeper and it's more versatile and it will prove to be better defensively once Blake and Barnes are comfortable with all the offensive and defensive schemes. When you factor in the new players and the fact that Bynum hasn't played one game yet, I dare say the practice season hasn't even begun.

You better believe the Lakers can play any style. I guarantee it.

@Lew - Okay you made me go in the basement and dig out Vanessa's first album. It was 1988. It was a good debut with Right Stuff, Be A Man and a couple good ballads on there also...Darlin I and Dreamin. And the picture on the jacket as Stu would say..."Niice".


You know who gave Vanessa her shot in the biz when others were closing doors...none other than George Clinton. She was on two songs from one of his albums in about 85-86. "Hey Good Looking" and "Do Fries Go with That Shake".

Can't wrap up discussion on Ladies of the 80's without giving some love to the former Miss America...aka former Mrs. Fox...Vanessa Williams. Very talented and certainly has the Right Stuff.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Urr8J3RYQ


@Lew - nothing wrong with admiring a beautiful sister...lol.

Posted by: LRob | December 06, 2010 at 08:05 PM
-
NICE!!!

LRob

I disagree in one very important respect. Here are the point totals for the Magic and Celtics in the Lakers' last 8 NBA Finals wins:

Orlando:

75, 96 (OT), 91 (OT), 86 = 87 ppg average, including 2 OT wins.

Boston:

89, 84, 67, 79 = 79.75 ppg average.

The Lakers have proven time and time again that they can win playing ANY style of basketball. They can beat up tempo teams at their own game, teams that bomb away and teams that play a half court game and lock down on defense. No, it is not who the Lakers are, but it ain't who they ain't either. It is certainly who they can be when they need to be.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 06, 2010 at 08:50 PM
---------------------

MVP - Actually I don't think we're really disagreeing. I agree that the Lakers can win playing any style. They'll beat the slow down, milk the shot clock, defensive minded teams as well as the "you score - we score" offensive oriented teams.

My point is they don't hang there hat on defense. Defensive minded teams play tough defense all the time not just in spurts or over a playoff series. They play it 82 games (well most games..you know what I mean)and the playoffs because its there DNA. So by highlingting the Lakers final stats it pretty much agrees to what I'm saying. Here's a look at the regular season stats for the teams discussed:

04 Pistons 84 pts allowed per game/41% fg
08 Celtics 90 pts allowed per game/42%
09 Lakers 99 pts allowed per game/45%
10 Lakers 97 pts allowed per game/45%

Remember what Kobe kept saying when people were questioning why the Lakers were having trouble with Phoenix zone in the playoffs last year. He emphasized it was the Lakers defense that was having problems...not their offense. Why were they having problem? Because they're not a defense first team.

So yes they'll play very good defense when they have to in the playoffs and some regular season games...but just don't expect it on a regular basis.

@Diandra - That's a nice remix of Wiz Kahlifa's "Black and Yellow." I just saw him do that on 106 and Park.

LRob - I agree, they'll never be shut-down, except for 6 to 8 minute spurts (in which they go on 17-0 runs), but they're just not doin' it at all right now. They have to bring energy to the D and rotate better for the whole 24 seconds, and then rebound. It'll come, but it's within themselves (Drew or no).

Posted by: 63 Footer | December 06, 2010 at 08:03 PM
-----------------

@63 Footer - exactly! And thanks for adding the "minutes" part that I left out on my previous post.


Take your time Bynum. We've gone this long without you and it seems that nothing is being done to replace you so make it count. When you get back, make sure you make it a point to stay the entire season.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPOIS5taqA8

I have to disagree on the Lakers as far as being a defensive team. They will be, just not in the regular season. They'll go through the motions until about March... then they'll tighten the screws. Once late April hits and the playoffs start... you'll see the great defensive team the Lakers can be. Come June... whoever in the East will be suffocating against the Lakers D.

As far as Bynum... he wants more practice... the Lakers are facing the Wizards and the Clips in back to back games... aside from 5 on 5 scrims... you can't get any better practice then against those 2 teams. I just wish though that people who report on Bynum's injuries, when they discuss and talk about his "injury proneness" and try to compare him to the likes of Yao Ming, actually take into account his injuries, how things have gone about and write something that's more honest rather then writing something just for the sake of a story.

This was written:

Some memories are short, but please allow me to refresh your memory about last "practice season" in case you forgot. The Lakers won very few "statement" games last season. They lost 6 out of their last 11 games down the stretch. Yet they flipped the switch in the playoffs and won playing every style of basketball imaginable. They beat a young, fast, athletic, defensive oriented/fast break team in Round 1. They beat a physical team in Round 2. They beat a run and gun team in the WCF. Then they beat a rugged, physical former champion in the NBA Finals.

my response:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bryanko01.html

The line you're looking for is:
2009-10 31 LAL NBA 23 923 234 511 49 131 154 183 26 138 126 31 16 79 75 671 .458 .374 .842 40.1 29.2 6.0 5.5

[ and for the spanish contingent, Yes I did look up Pau and no I didn't mean to
substitute his stats for Kobe's. ]

Personally, I love Andrew but I wish he would just play already! No pain and no swelling. He can jump higher than ever. So what? A couple more practices? Come on, Drew! I don't care how much he practices, his timing is only going to come back in GAME action.


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