Back in 2005, the Los Angeles Lakers drafted a kid named Andrew Bynum out of St. Joesph High School (Metuchen, New Jersey). At 17-years-old, Bynum became the youngest player ever to be drafted and the next unanimous prospect at center for the Shaq-less Lakers.
Now 24-years-old and fresh off his first All-Star Appearance, Bynum seems to be finally flourishing into the player the Lakers have envisioned all along. Averaging 18.3 ppg along with 12.2 rpg this season, Bynum has arguably become the second scoring option on this Laker squad and one of the elite big men in the league today.
But as his game has continued to evolve with age, his maturity hasn’t.
On the heels of his now infamous three-point attempt that warranted a benching from head coach Mike Brown on Tuesday, Bynum showed signs of immaturity with his comments after the game via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“I guess, ‘Don’t take 3s’ is the message, but I’m going to take another one and I’m going to take some more, so I just hope it’s not the same result,” Bynum said. “Hopefully I make it.”
Aside from these comments he made after the game, while Bynum was on the bench during the game, he could be seen laughing and even re-enacting the shot that landed him there in the first place.
While this may seem minor to some, Bynum also had a similar reaction a little over a week ago when he was ejected in a game against the Houston Rockets.
Earning his second technical foul with 1:10 left in the third quarter, Bynum was ejected from the game and, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
“He kept smiling as he high-fived teammates on the bench and a handful of fans courtside seats before walking across the court to the locker room.”
Although Bynum bounced back nicely in the loss against the Thunder on Thursday, he needs to realize how important he is to this team. As much as the game of basketball should be about fun and games, with 15 games left on their schedule, Bynum and the Lakers don’t have time to fool around.
While only time will tell what will come from this recent drama in La La Land, one thing is for sure, Bynum should leave that three-point shot, and the attitude, at home.