Last summer was intense to say the least for the Los Angeles Lakers and the fans of the storied NBA franchise with the team’s front office determined to make drastic changes in order to build another championship-caliber team around Kobe Bryant before his contract ends after the 2013-14 NBA season.
As a result of bold moves made by GM Mitch Kupchak and company, the Lakers acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard while only shipping out one major piece in up-and-comer Andrew Bynum.
So far, the results haven’t been what was intended when making these blockbuster moves in the off-season with the Lakers struggling all season long. Despite the struggles, the players and the coaching staff are confident things will turn around with the return of Pau Gasol and Nash, but in the meantime the current squad has vastly underachieved under new head coach Mike D’Antoni.
As for Bynum, the recently traded center had some choice words for his old team and the Lakers new addition in Howard. Bynum claims the Lakers downgraded at center by trading the one-time All-Star for Howard via Kevin Ding of the OC Register:
Bynum stuck with his long-held position of not worrying about being in Los Angeles or traded elsewhere.
“It didn’t really matter where I played as long as I get to,” he said. “Health is the big concern with me right now. I don’t regret anything. Personally, I think they traded No. 1 for No. 2 — and that’s what happened.”
Obviously, at this point in time, regardless of the team’s current record (11-14), it’s hard to argue that the Lakers didn’t get the better end of the deal with Bynum having yet to play a single game for the Philadelphia 76ers and Howard putting solid numbers while coming off back surgery.
There’s no telling what the future holds for these two dominant centers as Bynum might continue to be plagued with knee problems and Howard possibly walking away from the Lakers via free agency in the summer, but for Bynum to claim that he’s the best at his position while currently unable to even get back on the floor doesn’t make much sense.
It’ll be interesting to see if Bynum can reclaim his All-Star form once finally able to get on the floor for the 76ers. There still remains no timetable for his return.