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Looking at how Andrew Bynum's play has evolved

The crowd sounds like a distant whisper. The remaining pain in his right knee becomes an afterthought. And the focus on his responsibility remains clear.

Everything surrounding Andrew Bynum's consistently increased presence during the Lakers' 10-1 mark since the All-Star break points to those three factors. It's enabled him to average 12.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks during that stretch, including a career-high tying 18 points against the Orlando Magic, and remain a strong defensive presence. It's enabled him to "have fun" as he put it. And it's enabled him to feel like he more empowered despite all the surrounding talent around him.

"I just made an effort," Bynum said. "It had nothing to do with clicking. It was the effort. I put energy into the defense. The defensive side of the basketball makes a difference. It helps us get more opportunities offensively. We're stil an offensive power house."

Blocking outside noise

A conversation with sports psychologist George Mumford prior to the Lakers' 92-86 victory Feb. 9 to the Boston Celtics helped plant the seeds to where Bynum willingly and consistently grabs rebounds. His career high 18 rebounds against Orlando marked the fifth consecutive game he's grabbed double-digit rebounds and eighth time in the past 10 contests since the NBA All-Star beak that he's cracked double figures in that department. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson pinpointed that game as the turning point for Bynum's renewed focus, a game that also coincided with reports circulating that the Lakers could possibly trade Bynum for Carmelo Anthony. Those reports were never unfounded, but Mitch Kupchak's admission to Lakers.com's Mike Trudell that other teams have expressed interest in him during recent struggles during Brynum's five-year career. That surely has to affect his psyche, but it's telling that Kupchak argues that he's very reluctant to think of trading him for anybody.

Bynum has always downplayed trade reports affecting him, but he acknowledged a "couple of things clicked," of the conversation with Mumford, which centered on blocking external pressure and outside distractions. Interestingly enough, Bynum says it's literally hard for him to hear the crowd at Staples Center during games. He's that much locked into the task at hand.

"I think it's more that level of focus," Bynum said. "When you're playing, it feels like it's quiet until the game stops. That's what everybody talks about when they're in the zone. Even though people are screaming, it feels quiet because you know what you want to do."

Embracing his role

That's resulted in Bynum remaining fully engaged on defensive rotations. The Lakers' new scheme installed in early January emphasizes for Bynum to remain close to the basket so he's there on help defense when guards beat the backcourt off the dribble and when opposing teams try to utilize their post presence. It's resulted in Bynum remaining fully engaged in rebounding, taking pride in being available for easy putbacks, to stave off teams from cashing in on transition and denying teams second-chance opportunities. And it's resulted in Bynum feeling fully engaged in the offense, even if his 11.6 points per game average pales to the numbers Kobe Bryant (24.8), Pau Gasol (18.7) and Lamar Odom (11.6) post on a regular basis.

"Everybody finds challenges," Bryant said. "For me, it's scoring. For him, it's rebounding. For Ron, it's shutting people down. Everybody has their thing that they do to help us win ballgames to get us excited. For him, it's rebounding and blocking shots."

In past years, Bynum remained fixated on how many touches and shot attempts he received his game, a false barometer of his worth considering the offensive pie mostly gears toward Bryant and Gasol. He changed his mindset, particularly during the 2010 playoffs when he nursed a right knee injury after suffering a torn meniscus. He also carried that attitude this season after missing the first 24 games while recovering from off-season surgery. But now he's doing it on a consistent basis, enough to make Odom call Bynum "one of the best centers in the game."

"You know what to do," Bynum said. "You know where to put your energy into. It's easier versus thinking. You don't have to spend time thinking."

Feeling more physically able

Of course, all this optimism comes with some anxiety considering Bynum's well documented injury history, missing the last 13 games of last season because of a strained left Achilles' tendon, sitting out 32 games in the 2008-09 season because of a right knee injury and 46 games in the 2007-08 season because of a left knee injury. Bynum also revealed his knee still isn't fully healthy this time around either.

"I have a little bit of fluid," Bynum said about his right knee. "I'm still taking medication. I'll let you all know when I get off that, and it'll be fine."

But don't mistake this for Bynum experiencing setbacks, though Jackson acknowledged the key to sustaining his surge points to remaining healthy. It just reveals the 23-year-old's inability to lie. In fact, Lakers guard Derek Fisher noticed that to be a good thing in the sense that Bynum's learned to overcome the psychological component of being afraid of suffering another injury.

"Forgetting about being worried about getting injured and just playing has really helped him," Fisher said. "He's helped us. Big time ... On the physical side, I think he's feeling comfortable with his body and the things he's capable of doing night in and night out. That's freed him from not worrying about physically where he is to now the mental parts of the game and the little details."

Even though Odom credits Bynum for appearing "more in basketball shape," he wants to drop from 290 pounds to 275 in hopes that his conditioning improves and he remains more mobile. Clearly, Bynum remains far from satisfied.

"They're gonna go either way (with their praise)," Bynum said regarding the general public about his game. "If I play badly, they're gonna tell you something else. I don't have time to really listen to what other people are saying. All I can do is try to get rebounds."

--Mark Medina

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

 
Comments () | Archives (40)

The comments to this entry are closed.

It's performances like the ones he's given recently that make him so damn infuriating! He can flat out DOMINATE in spurts, so we always know he has it in him. But he'll go through periods where he just looks disinterested and lethargic. Which is the real Bynum? I think the current version is the real one, but then I'm an optimist. The same can't be said for many of my fellow Laker fans. :P


@MM... “Those reports were never unfounded, but Mitch Kupchak's admission to Lakers.com's Mike Trudell that he's certainly shopped around Bynum during his five-year career surely had to weigh on his psyche.”
.....
Another outstanding article, Mark. However, I have to passionately and completely disagree with your interpretation of Mitch Kupchak’s comments about trading Andrew Bynum. If you re-read Mitch’s comments, you will see that he clearly stated that he RECEIVES 10 to 15 calls a year about Drew from other GM’s hoping to get Mitch to trade when he is disgruntled after Drew has a subpar performance. That is a far cry from saying that Mitch ADMITTED to shopping Drew around, an event which there is absolutely zero rumor or evidence that actually happened. Your statement was NOT correct and should be retracted. Otherwise, the Bynum Bashers will add it to their arsenal.
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The major comment that I am amazed that you completely ignored is Mitch’s statement that he would NOT trade a healthy Drew for ANY PLAYER IN THE NBA. That is REAL NEWS that should have been the subject of your article, especially with all the hit-seeking articles and comments going on about the Lakers trading Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard when he becomes a free agent after next year. Frankly, I do not understand how you could even write an article about Drew without including that comment by Mitch. That is MAJOR NEWS for the Lakers franchise.
....................................................
TOM

Which is the real Bynum? I think the current version is the real one, but then I'm an optimist. The same can't be said for many of my fellow Laker fans. :P Posted by: puddle | March 18, 2011 at 11:12 AM
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Then Puddle you, YOU, must show them the way and explain this is the real one. I would TRY to do it but alas, I’m not PUDDLE!!!

"even if his 11.6 points per game average pales to the numbers Kobe Bryant (24.8), Pau Gasol (18.7) and Lamar Odom (11.6) post on a regular basis."

How exactly does Andrew's 11.6 pale in comparison to Lamar's 11.6?

How exactly does Andrew's 11.6 pale in comparison to Lamar's 11.6? Posted by: Elmore Smith | March 18, 2011 at 11:21 AM
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LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


@KOBEMVP888.... Welcome back, Kenny. Man, it’s good to see you posting again. I missed having my counselor around to have my back. Now the LA Times Lakers Blog is really ready to rock and roll down the stretch run. How about the Mitch Kupchak interview. Pretty much validates what you and I and Lew and the Bynum Boosters have been saying all along. And Drew’s play and newly found dedication to rebounding and shot blocking is nothing short of a major boost not only to our chances to three-peat this year but our chances to extend our championship window for the rest of Kobe’s great career and beyond. Anyway, I think you know now that there are a lot of Lakers Bloggers who will join me in celebrating your return from a blog vacation.
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@LEWSTERS... “The Friedman Season.” Man, I do love how that sounds and I know somewhere up there Rick is smiling and getting ready for Game Day. Looking forward to meeting you and your wife in person and watching some Lakers playoff basketball when you come north in May.
............................
TOM

LRob,

It's a real song? I thought it was a joke of some sort.

Laker Tom I am so anxious to go on my Nor Cal trip this May...Let's hope there is a playoff game when I'm in town...I can't wait to meet you and Mrs. Laker Tom, PLG, and the rest of the Nor Cal Chapter...

As far as Kid Bynumite...yes, it has been tiring defending him through out Laker Nation...

But it's a battle you, 888 and I have no problem jumping into...that's just our passion for the kid and the rest of the team...

#17 Coming Up...The Friedman Season

OK LakerHolics, get up GET UP!! It’s time for the Laker Nation Anthem!!!
http://tinyurl.com/ylp3qqc _ I Love LA. Come on Justa sing it with me!!! You too Lass!!!

@ESmith - Before you swat another shot away...I believe MM meant to print Odom's 14.4.

Speaking of Elmore Smith. I used to love how the old Laker PA announcer would say his name. Who was the announcer before Lawrence Tanner?

@jefe - well done. I'm loving the Cure also!

LRob, It's a real song? I thought it was a joke of some sort. Posted by: Magia32 | March 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM
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ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Magia32 - I don't think she's a professional. Just a viral sensation. I still thought it had a fun innocence too it.

Lakeraholics at a Wake...


So, I went to Rick Friedman's wake last night at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Boulevard.

Now, if you haven't been to the Rainbow Bar & Grill, you're not a true Los Angeleno/an in my book. It is one of the most iconic bar/restaurants in the world and a living monument to the history of Rock and Roll and Los Angeles' roll in the development of that cultural art.

Quite frankly, if you want to know Rock & Roll, don't go to the Rock & Roll History Museum in Cleveland. Go to the Rainbow Bar & Grill.

A little dirty Jon K. secret is that the place remains a location where women who have long hair fetishes go to hang out. Myself, having long hair, have used this to my advantage on more than one occasion. I love the Rainbow--strange, quirky place that it is.

It seems that Rick Friedman loved it too and his adoration for Rock and Roll seems to have been nearly as strong as his Lakeraholicism. Upstairs at the Rainbow is a club within a club called "Above The Rainbow" composed of dark woods, dark lighting, an oddly comforting nautical theme, a pit for dancing, and an attic-like enclosure above it named "The Lair of the Hollywood Vampires" where John Lennon, Ringo Starr, David Bowie, Keith Moon and others claimed as their own during the 1970s.

This is where those who knew and loved Rick gathered in his memory.

I arrived after work, a little late, to see a crowd of approximately 45 people gathered in his memory.

One by one, people would climb the stairs that leads to The Lair of the Hollywood Vampires and share their stories of Rick and his life. Rick was a successful television producer and many of the stories were from people who Rick mentored in the industry. It seems Rick's work touched a lot peoples' lives and that everyone who knew Rick immediately recognized him as a special person, not minimally in part because Rick had the exceptional gift of making other people feel special.

Rick was also a thoughtful communicator, as many knew him on this blog to be. Despite that, Rick was an extremely passionate and intelligent man, but he thought before he spoke, a quality less frequent in this day and age.

Among the people who spoke was our own Faith, who had printed out each and every blog post that Rick had brought to the L.A. Times Lakers blog over his long career. In fact, multiple people mentioned the blog and Rick's talent as a writer.

Those Lakeraholics in attendance were myself, Faith, Benjamin (who it turns out is Rick's cousin), Edwin Gueco (who drove all the way from Rolling Hills) and bob (who hasn't been around since the Michael Teniente-days of the blog AND just so happens to be a smoking hot woman. Who knew?)

It was nice to put faces behind the handles. Most were different than I thought except Edwin Gueco who was how I expected him to be: A extraordinarily friendly and warm gentleman. He gave me a big hug immediately upon meeting him.

Benjamin was younger than I thought, very intelligent, and interested in discussing philosophy, politics and the bigger picture.

Faith was a little more closed off than I expected. but lit up when gave her a big hug as she left.

Bob was well... smoking hot... and EXTRAORDINARILY passionate about the Lakers. It was awesome. She shared a story about how when we lost to Boston in the Finals she literally could not get out of bed for three days she was so depressed. Only the admonishments of her husband (yeah, I know, she's married, sucks) was enough to get her to start living life again.

We discussed, among other things, the blog and how it has become a real community.

There were critiques of the Kamenetzky Brothers, who everyone agreed were/are talented and entertaining writers, but no one seemed to care for the way they interacted with bloggers on the blog. Most felt they were haughty and acted like "they were better" than the community. Brian Kamenetzky received particular criticism and Bob even referred to him as "a Laker Hater."

Benjamin went out of his way to praise Mark Medina for his tribute to Rick Friedman and was so touched by it that he told me aside that "Mark could even run over my cat--and I love that cat--and I'd forgive him for it, after that. It really meant a lot to me."

Now bloggers come and go and I've asked many bloggers, including Faith and Bob--as well as many of the Class A bloggers who spend more time on the renegade chat than they do on this blog--why they don't post as often.

The answer: Trolls.

Most of the die-hard fans want to talk about the Lakers and share tidbits of their own lives. The problem is that by sharing tidbits of one's own lives, taking a strong stance on a particular issue with the Lakers and/or receiving praise from other bloggers somehow attracts scorn and attacks from Trolls... and quite frankly, a lot of people get sick of that quickly.

As the most troll-attacked blogger in the long history of the blog I have one piece of advice: Get over it.

Lakers fans were recently described in an article as "among the worst fans in sports." Why? Because a lot of people masquerading as fans are just bandwagoneers. When the Clippers make the playoffs next year, they'll be popping Blake Griffin jersies instead of popping Kobe Bryant jersies and shouting out such brilliant insights at sports bars as "Yo, Kobe! Shoot de ball!"

And when the Anaheim Royals make the playoffs eventually, they'll be popping some player from that team's jersey. Banwagoneers. aka "Losers masquerading as winners."

Well, some of us aren't bandwagoneers. Rick Friedman wasn't a bandwagoneer. I had the pleasure of speaking with his cousin (Benjamin's dad) after he gave his eulogy and he told me about the pleasure of watching Elgin Baylor play and his spectacular rebounding ability. Awesome.

Some of us are going to be like that. 30 years from now we'll be talking about Kobe, Shaq, Pau, Ron, Lamar, Andrew, Derek, Horry...

And, in this strange world, some of the trolls and bandwagoneers will hate us for that.

Screw 'em.

Listen, we expect our Lakers to be mentally tough. Actually, we DEMAND that they be mentally tough. And in some ways they have to be mentally tough because we expect excellence from them year after year, night in, night out.

And when the Lakers win, we shout, "WE WON!!! WE WON!!!"

"WE"

"We."

Well, my fellow beloved Lakeraholics, it's time to embrace a little mental toughness of our own.

A lot of people read this blog each day. Instead of breaking into histrionics because some 13 year old kid in a dark room in Canada is throwing insults at us, ignore them and get back to what we do best--discussing and celebrating the Los Angeles Lakers.

I think that's how Rick Friedman would have wanted it to be.

And the last thing before I left was introduce myself to his son and offer my condolences. He asked me to carry on Rick's spirit on the blog and to live by Rick's example of being an intelligent, dedicated, faithful and respectful blogger.

And this is something I hope to do and ask for all of us to continue on in Rick's example.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

@ESmith - Before you swat another shot away...I believe MM meant to print Odom's 14.4. Posted by: LRob | March 18, 2011 at 11:38 AM
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And LRob with the Assist!!!!!!!!!!

MVP,

Welcome back. This ones for you. Just cause you kept us "Waiting". Now lace em up and let's get ready for this 3peat!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMyCa35_mOg

Jon K beautiful post and thank you so much for the synopsis on Rick's wake...

I totally agree with your message...

This is what it's all about...

CELEBRATING OUR LAKER TEAM TOGETHER...

I will try to keep Rick's memory alive by behaving in his guidelines...

Great job brother Jon...thanks for representing the Blog at this sad occasion...

JON K. in all sincerity that was simply beautiful...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!! KUDOS!!!...But Jon K. really, you didn't know bob was a woman? Really? Jon. K who is the second woman in the Real Laker girls listing on the Roll Call? Oh! You don't read the Roll Call...Never mind...sorry!! LOL!

Ok.If Bynum keeps this up he is untradeable....Full stop... Don't care...But the one trade that I'm now over the moon never happened was for Cristina Bosh.... He mentioned in an interview that a heat player would never had been able to practice after a game the way Kobe did and that the staff should have turned the lights off on Kobe ...... What Cristina does not realize us that some players are destined to be bridesmaids ...... And Cristina is a bridesmaidzilla....crying Cristina......... Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh .... Waaaaaaaaahhh

LRob - Great choice...haven't heard me some Petty in a while...I just grabbed their Anthology: Through the Years, CD to load in the car to listen to on my drive to LA...

Thanks bruh...any other suggestions...lol

And Cristina is a bridesmaidzilla....crying Cristina......... Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh .... Waaaaaaaaahhh
Posted by: Thirty2 | March 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM
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Stop that!! Stop that NOW!! LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!

Jon K - simply beautiful. Thank you so much. Words cannot express my appreciation for your word's eye view of the memorial. You've truly touched my heart - thank you.

(I miss you, my BFF....)

Some love for Lamar as 6th Man of the Year:
http://www.nba.com/2011/news/features/03/17/statscube-sixth-man/index.html

Very well deserved, and some compensation for missing out on an All-Star selection.

mamba24,

Sorry, Mamba, I don't go over the minutae of the list.

I just read your poems and key points.

Anyhow, Bob is smoking hot and utterly passionate about the Lakers... and likes the Clippers.

Faith was funny because she would not accept ANYTHING (ANYTHING!) as being quality if it was not of the Lakers. In discussing Blake Griffin's All-Star dunk, her face curled up in disgust and she went off about how "anyone" could have done that dunk and that only "maybe" she would have been impressed if he would have dunked over the top of the car instead of the hood. Hilarious.

By the way, Edwin Gueco is a really, REALLY nice guy.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon K.....

Thank you so much for taking the time to recap the events at Mr. Friedman's wake. That was a great read. An outstanding piece of work.

I couldn't agree with you more about your take on ignoring the trolls. Annoying they might be, but their negativity can't detract from the complexities and insights of the many people that post here. People whose agenda is solely to discuss Laker basketball. I'll never let trolls deny me the pleasure of inteacting with folks such as yourself and other real Lakerholics.

Jon K, that was absolutely lovey. Thank you for that.

You have quite the talent for setting a scene. I remember a piece you wrote last winter about Cleveland. You fill a landscape with precise, vivid strokes, yet never clutter it.

Thanks for taking us to the Rainbow. And thanks for capturing both the moment and the spirit of Rick's memorial.

Lass

Sorry, Mamba, I don't go over the minutae of the list.
I just read your poems and key points. Anyhow, Bob is smoking hot and utterly passionate about the Lakers... and likes the Clippers. Faith was funny because she would not accept ANYTHING (ANYTHING!) as being quality if it was not of the Lakers. By the way, Edwin Gueco is a really, REALLY nice guy.Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever. GO LAKERS!!! Posted by: Jon K. | March 18, 2011 at 12:07 PM
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I was just playing with ya bro! As for Faith, being a true Lakerholic I would not expect anything less from her! Kudos Faith!! And as for Edwin being a nice guy...Of course he is, he is my Mentor after all!!! LOL! Great report Jon K!!! The Laker Nation owes you a debt of gratitude sir. For myself, I thank you sincerly!!!

I'll never let trolls deny me the pleasure of inteacting with folks such as yourself and other real Lakerholics.

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | March 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM
==========================================

Without evil there can't be good, good wouldn't mean anything. Trolls have there place here, they are needed. Personally I like the *good* feeling I get when Kobe and the Lakers have all the haters blood boiling coz the purple n gold keep smashin.

" He mentioned in an interview that a heat player would never had been able to practice after a game the way Kobe did and that the staff should have turned the lights off on Kobe ...... What Cristina does not realize us that some players are destined to be bridesmaids ...... And Cristina is a bridesmaidzilla....crying Cristina......... Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh .... Waaaaaaaaahhh


Posted by: Thirty2 | March 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM "

Not a Bosh fan but he is right. I would fully expect the Lakers to kick KG, LeBron, or anyone like that off the Staples Center floor and not let them have a free shooting session with Lakers ball boys fetching balls for them.

bronxlakerfan,

We know our own kind. Scourge and then ignore the trolls. It's the only way.

I understand that the main reason people blog here is because it's fun... and the blog is best when it is fun, passionate and punctuated with humor.

The trolls do their best to take away the fun.

They hate the Light of others because they lack their own. That's the tragedy of life itself: That there are people out there who hate the Light of others... and it's why we have laws and crime and suffering and war...

Those fricken trolls.

But they're part of life and we have to overcome them through discipline, strength and integrity.

And overcoming them is one reason why victory feels so good.

And victory is one of the best feelings in life, if not the best.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Jon k... Nice man....LA Times blog.... Through good times and in bad..... Bringing people together....Mamba..... Cristina had eleven bridesmaids at his wedding.... Just his close girl friends...

Bay to LA,

"Not a Bosh fan but he is right."

He'd be right if he was talking about any other player other than Kobe Bryant.

I pity the fool who would try to turn the lights off on Kobe Bryant. Kobe would give him a stare and his Black Mamba psionic blast would drop him dead before his finger even reached the switch.

And Kobe would just keep on shooting...

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

@Thirty 2....

"bridesmaidzilla"....That's pretty darn funny, partenr!!!

@LEWSTERS… Wow! Great post and quotes from Mitch, Lew. This should finally drive a nail into the coffin that once was the hope and prayer of Dwight Howard getting traded for Andrew Bynum. What’s ironic is that you and I and the other Bynum Boosters know that all Mitch is doing is stating the obvious. Drew is dominating the paint and boards at both ends of the court right now and there is no way the Lakers are going to trade him for anyone? And that came straight from Mitch’s mouth. Looks like it was not just Jim Buss who was tooting his AB17 horn. Way to take a stand, Mitch.
…..
It’s such a pleasure to listen to the general manager of your team and have him say exactly what you wanted to hear. Or even more to the point, exactly what we have been saying all along. Talk about your opinion being validated. Take that. Here is Mitch’s full response from the link that you posted:
………………………………..
Q. ON HOW HE DEALT WITH THE TRADE RUMORS THAT CIRCULATED
ABOUT BYNUM PRIOR TO THE TRADE DEADLINE:
…..
Kupchak: I’d say I get 10 to 15 phone calls a year about Andrew. I’ve called teams that have young, developing players myself. I don’t think that’s going to change. Certainly if he had played as well as he’s playing now for the last three years, teams would realize that, well, the Lakers would never trade him. But he’s had stretches where he’s played well and stretches where he hasn’t, and he’s been criticized, and I think general managers look at (those weaker stretches) and think maybe this is an opportunity for me to come in through the back door, let me make a phone call. And I understand that, and don’t think that’s going to change. But having said all that: when Andrew is healthy, and he plays like he is playing right now, you are hard pressed to look at anybody in this league and say, ‘I would trade him for that person.’
…..
Q: ON IF HE MEANT THAT LAST STATEMENT LITERALLY
ABOUT NOT TRADING BYNUM FOR ANYBODY:
…..
Kupchak: Anybody. If he’s healthy at this level he’s at, you’d have to think about anything. In other words, you may not trade him for anybody. If he helps your team and he’s what you need, and we can advance in the playoffs, then why would you take a chance and do anything? A lot of it is the right fit, the right personality for a team, and I think we have a group of players right now that are unselfish in the big picture, I really do. We know the players we had from last year are, because they’ve been through it, but the guys we added in Blake and Barnes feel that way too, and know what’s at stake here. We know there are going to be rumors about most of the guys on this team, but that’s just the way it is. If we play at a high level and we win, nobody has anything to worry about.
…………………………………………….
Mitch then goes on to say that there is no defensive player in the league he would rather have guarding the small forward position than Ron Artest. He also has strong praise for both Matt Barnes and Steve Blake. Throughout the interview, Mitch constantly emphasized how the Lakers pieces fit. I know that this is a hard concept for many of the fans on this blog to fully understand, but this is the NBA, not fantasy basketball. The Lakers are a team that is built to be better than the sum of its parts. It’s about synergy and team chemistry. Here is what he had to say about the Lakers front court:
…………………………………………….
Q: ON A CONVERSATION THAT’S BEEN HAD SEVERAL TIMES:
THE ADVANTAGES OF L.A.’S BIG MEN:
…..
Kupchak: Our strength is our size; I don’t think anyone would argue that. That allows us to be competitive in every game. Having a player who can close a game or take over a game like Kobe, having a defender like Ron, having a leader like Derek Fisher … those are pieces that fit. But if you have to look at a strength of our team, it would be that our guys are big and they are skilled. You look at, is there somebody that’s better than Pau out there at his position? Than Andrew? Than Lamar coming off the bench?
………………………………………………
The best owner, best general manager, best coach, best shooting guard and player, best center, best power forward , best team leader, best defensive small forward, best sixth man, and best bench. And the best blog and bloggers in the sports blogsphere. Andrew Bynum, leading candidate for Western Conference Player of the Month if the Lakers can win out March. Finals Co-MVP with Kobe Bryant.
……………………………………………………………………….
TOM

@JonK

BRAVO ZULU SIR

JR

LakerTom,

Hold on.

Let me see if I can get my head around this.

Are you suggesting that REAL basketball is different than FANTASY league basketball?

I don't get it.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

The best owner, best general manager, best coach, best shooting guard and player, best center, best power forward , best team leader, best defensive small forward, best sixth man, and best bench. And the best blog and bloggers in the sports blogsphere. Andrew Bynum, leading candidate for Western Conference Player of the Month if the Lakers can win out March. Finals Co-MVP with Kobe Bryant. Posted by: LakerTom | March 18, 2011 at 12:46 PM
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No, No, No!!! No one should have such an abundance of happiness and greatness. But then we are far from NO ONE! We are...The 4 Dynasty, 16 time, Back to back, NBA Champion, Freakin LA Lakers and we deserve every single thing. Because we got it the old fashion way...WE EARNED IT!!! Sooooo Swagger On LakerTom and the rest of LakerNation will Swagger right along with you!!!! Oh by the way I just have to say this...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!! Swagger On!

Bringing people together....Mamba..... Cristina had eleven bridesmaids at his wedding.... Just his close girl friends...Posted by: Thirty2 | March 18, 2011 at 12:33 PM
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hmmmmm.

@Laker Tom - My mistake. I fixed it. Thanks for pointing that out

Let's all be honest here...Andrew Bynum is a flat-out stud. Like him or hate him you can't argue that Bynum is one of the most best skilled big man in the league at just 23 years old. The naysayers will say Lakers should of traded Bynum for Mr Play No Defense Melo before he gets injured again. Fans of Bynum will say "are you kidding me?" Trade a 7 foot rim protecting beast that can gobble up rebounds like taking candy from a baby?

I know all of you reading this post are smart savvy basketball fans that know your stuff. Ok so I ask you all why would you ever trade a blooming future franchise Center who can defend, rebound, and uh hum make free throws (unlike a previous predecessor)?

I get the argument that he's injury prone and has missed a gabillion games in his young career. I get all that, but the bottom line Bynum wins you Championships come June. Sure we lost in 08 Finals because Bynum was out with injury but Bynum more than made up for his absense with contributions in 09 and 10 Finals. Lakers won in the 09 Finals against Magic because Bynum's size was able to limit Howard to a lower career scoring average and rebounds. With Bynum neutralizing Howard's effectiveness in the post, that further forced the Magic to try and make those three point shots. Which everyone and their grandmother knows you don't win NBA Championships by running around like crazed dogs and jacking up low percentage three point shots.

In 2010 Finals, Bynum on one good leg was good enough to snag rebounds and be a paint enforcer. Celtics are still crying over that one saying "our starting five never lost a series". Come on really? You had a healthy Perkins playing on two legs up until game 6 compared to the Lakers playing Bynum on one leg the whole darn playoffs practically? The kid Bynum didn't ever complain, had to drain his knees twice, and went about his business of helping his team win back to back Championships.

This kid plays through pain. (No Greg Oden comparisons please. Oden never played on one leg in the Finals and helped his team win back to back titles.)

This kid does whatever is asked of his team.

This kid rebounds, defends the paint, gets easy put back backets, oh and he can make free throws.

This kid is the only one in the NBA who can block Dwight Howard's shots and make the so called "Best Center" in the NBA look small in size comparison.

This kid would average 20 and 10 every night if it weren't for future hall of famers Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol taking the bulk of shots.

Thank goodness the Lakers have smart leaders like Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss who no better than to trade a franchise Center for a play no D ball-hogging forward.

Trade Bynum.....are you freagin kidding me? Hahhahha it's almost laughable.

Bronx.....

The guy is the typical wanna be NBA franchise player.

He reminds me of Steph Marbury....


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