Andrew Bynum is working on his communication skills
Sitting in the cubby hole of his locker is one of the resources that has helped spur Andrew Bynum's growth.
It's a 320-page book titled "Instant Persuasion," which Bynum has been reading in his spare time during the past 10 days in the hope it improves his communication skills on the court.
"It's about how to use your words," Bynum said during a rare quiet moment. "It's about changing your words around and say what you mean."
The subtitle, "How to change your words to change your life," sounds like just more self-help book hyperbole. But it's much more than that for Bynum. Aside from his off-season boxing classes, film study and improvement in playing through double teams, the book's lessons could prove instrumental in his development.
After all, one thing Lakers assistant coach Darvin Ham has noticed are Bynum's on-court communication issues. Although Bynum has improved his defensive will since last season, he doesn't consistently point out rotations quickly enough on pick-and-roll sequences. Although coaches and teammates express optimism in Bynum improving working through double teams, his struggles on kicking out to the perimeter or finding Pau Gasol inside also partly point to communication.
"I come in here," Bynum said, "and learn new things every day."
And part of that involves reading "Instant Persuasion." Part of the word exercises the book emphasizes involves finding factual solutions through problem-solving and how to disagree without being disagreeable. His on-court communication remains in flux. Some could argue his failure to apologize for parking in various handicap spots this summer shows he still has lots to learn. But as far as communicating his ideas publicly, it's clear Bynum has shown growth.
In years past, Bynum complained about a lack of touches. This season, Bynum has averaged a career-high 15.9 points and 13.2 rebounds because he vows to remain aggressive even if the Lakers don't always look for him inside. Last post-season, Bynum revealed the team's apparent "trust issues." In past seasons, Bynum talked openly about his want to land on the All-Star team. This season, he remains more worried about how much he improves.
Bynum has successfully navigated a few chapters of the book and is upbeat on the insights he's already gained.
"It'll work anywhere," Bynum said regarding the book's lessons. "Especially here on the court."
— Mark Medina
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