From the large amount of internet articles, twitter profiles and discussions on both television and sports blogs alike, everyone has heard of the speculated Bynum/Howard trade.
The presence of Dwight Howard, three time Defensive Player of the Year and five time NBA All-Star, has made the Magic a team to contend with since he was drafted by Orlando in 2004. Standing at 6’11 and playing Center, Howard has a display of blocks, dunks, and drives throughout every NBA season, making him one of the most well known big men in the game today.
On the other hand, the Lakers still have hold of Andrew Bynum. GM Mitch Kupchak recently told Lakers.com that “there’s no player in the league for whom the Los Angeles Lakers would trade Andrew Bynum, as long as Bynum is able to stay healthy and maintain his current high level of play”. While Laker fans may believe getting one of the best Centers in the league in Howard could automatically solve the woes of the 2010-11 season, we need to remember what happened with the Miami Heat. They received some of the best, and believed they had it all. In the end, however, they were not the ones hoisting up the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, and not one member of the “Big Three” was able to claim the Finals MVP as their own. The Heat are now in the same boat as every other team in the NBA besides Dallas; unsuccessful and needing to try again.
The Lakers are one of the greatest franchises in the history of sports. With that said, they would be able to get some of the greatest physical therapists, trainers, and surgeons on hand for whatever injury their players may acquire. If Andrew Bynum is able to stay healthy and on top of his game, he will be the deciding factor for the Lakers for many years to come.
I’ve already seen major changes, beyond the obvious, since Bynum was drafted to the Lakers in 2005. He showed us he was here to play in his rookie season, when facing the Miami Heat he was matched up against Laker legend Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq was able to dunk over Bynum on a putback attempt, but as soon as the Lakers went down to the other side of the floor, Bynum responded with a spin around O’Neal to dunk the ball himself. Bynum then ran down the court, putting an elbow into Shaq, who responded with an elbow in the Laker Centers chest, causing a scuffle which Kobe Bryant, coincidentally, had to break apart.
Also, as a fan watching Bynum week after week, I’ve seen his body and demeanor change. He looks like he has lost a lot of unneeded weight, and built up muscle. He’s become more dominant in the paint, gaining more rebounds than ever, which proved necessary throughout the 2011 playoffs when Gasol seemed to be off in his own world. I believe there is no reason to fix things that are not broken. Bynum has worked through injuries before, some very serious compared to others. After looking around the league this season and seeing players sit out, such as Rondo for a “jammed finger” in the 2011 playoffs, having a player with such tenacity and desire to play the game is something that cannot be taught, and Los Angeles needs to keep hold of the greatness that they already have.