The path former Lakers center Andrew Bynum has taken over the last couple of years has been perplexing. He signed with the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 1, but is still recovering from knee injuries that have plagued him for the majority of his career.
Although he has yet to play for his new team, Bynum took some time to share what about enticed him to join the Pacers. Bynum likened the Pacers to the Phil Jackson-led Lakers, according to IndyStar.com’s Candace Buckner
“I (had) only been in Indy for a week and certain things are similar,” Bynum said while comparing his best years with the Lakers to the Pacers. “The way coaches handle things and how everything is time regimented … It’s better, it’s more structured. You’re here, they do what they need to do with you and then you’re out. It’s not like something is going on forever. Everything has a plan and you try to stick to it and accomplish it, that’s always good.”
Bynum enjoyed playing under Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson as he was a part of two championship winning squads. One of Jackson’s best traits was his ability to manage players and control their egos. After Jackson left the Lakers, Bynum put up the best numbers of his career during the 2011-2012 season and earned himself an All-Star start, but he struggled to get along with new Lakers coach Mike Brown that season. The Lakers season ended in the second round despite securing the number three seed in the West.
Bynum’s maturity has often come to question and has hindered his skill and potential. During a game against the Golden State Warriors later that season, Bynum threw up an ill-advised three point attempt which earned him a bench spot for the remainder of the game. The Lakers eventually followed suit and shipped Bynum off to Philadelphia in the four-team trade that landed Dwight Howard.
This season, Bynum was reunited with Mike Brown as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The issues continued and eventually was waived by the team for his detrimental attitude that included shooting whenever he touched the ball in practice.
Whether or not Pacers coach Frank Vogel can get Bynum playing good basketball will be something to watch if the center returns this season. It looks like the Pacers coaching staff has created a fitting environment for Bynum much like his time in Los Angeles.
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