The Lakers are a better team without Andrew Bynum. Their career 1-8 three-point shooting center has a lot of growing up to do.
With 16 seconds left on the shot clock in Tuesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum launched a three pointer from the top of the key. He missed by a mile and was benched about a minute later. (I think he would’ve been benched even if he made the shot.)
But making the blatantly poor decision did not bother me as much as his attitude following it. Listen to Bynum’s body language in Tuesday’s post-game interview:
Subjectively, he sounds nonchalant and conveys a care-free persona.
Objectively, Bynum’s response at the 1:06 mark troubles me. “Why did you shoot the three?”
“I made one last night and wanted to take another one.”
“I” wanted to take another one, so “I” did. Bynum indirectly admitted he is a selfish player at times (at best). Bynum knows he belongs nowhere near that three point line, yet consciously chucked it up anyway.
It shows immaturity and an individualistic mindset. It shows Andrew Bynum’s attitude is detrimental to the Lakers’ locker room. Unfortunately, I believe his decision to shoot the three was a way of saying, “Yanno coach…I really don’t care what you think.”
**In my opinion, the Kobe and the Lakers are fed up with head coach Mike Brown. In his defense, replacing arguably the greatest coach in basketball history plus inheriting a veteran franchise is not an easy task.
Still, Brown will catch a lot of heat. Bynum’s interview begs the question, “Coach, do you have control of the locker room (let alone Andrew Bynum)?” Mike D’Antoni didn’t.
Do Bynum’s seven-foot frame and above average basketball skills eclipse the negative baggage his attitude elicits? Yes, the Lakers won two championships with him, but as he gains seniority, will Bynum’s pro/con baggage tilt in the opposite direction? I think within a year or two it will. What is his “negative attitude ceiling?” It doesn’t help he can’t stay healthy.
The Lakers’ biggest win would have been to trade Bynum in a package deal for Orlando’s Dwight Howard, but that’s a rant for another day.
“Intangibles” is the most underrated stat in sports. We drown ourselves in numbers, but give me a stat for locker room presence. Does this individual catalyze or retard the team’s progress?
It’s the one stat the sports world is missing, but at least now I know where Bynum ranges in the category.