Andrew Bynum isn’t even 25 years old yet.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been waiting for Andrew Bynum to mature for the past 5 seasons. He finally broke out this year as the 2nd best center in the NBA, putting up 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game during the regular season. Dominating numbers from a dominating physical presence. But don’t let his physical stature and the numbers fool you, Bynum still possesses the mind of a child.
That mind is not going to change.
Andrew Bynum has been somewhat of an enigma all season for the Lakers. The infamous 3-point shot that sent him straight to the pine encapsulates most everything that Bynum is and has been for Los Angeles. After the benching, Bynum sulked for much of the game, refusing to join the huddle in team timeouts and subsequently played some uninspired 4th quarter basketball. He reacted to the situation like a petulant child.
Immaturity is a good excuse for only so long.
The young ancient Roman emperor Nero passed off his failings and cruelty to the public as youthful mistakes but it was said that this was more a fault of his character and not his age. The same could be said of Andrew Bynum, you know, minus the cruelty.
Last night, after another uninspired 10 point, 4 rebound performance from Bynum, he was questioned by the media about his expectations of a possible contract extension with the Lakers. Bynum would give an answer once again suggesting his inexperience got the better of him. He said that “I’m not sure,” and “It really doesn’t matter to me. I’ll play anywhere. I think for the most part I had a pretty decent season and then an OK postseason. Obviously this last game was the worst game I’ve probably played. It sucks, obviously, we’re going fishing. My focus is next year and coming back stronger, adding things to my game”
Inexperienced words from an inexperienced man.
This whole immaturity thing, ironically, is getting a little old for Andrew Bynum though. There has been no maturation for Bynum and it doesn’t appear as though there ever will be. His comments exhibit the signs of a kid who doesn’t learn. All he had to do was fake his undying devotion to the Lakers but he couldn’t do that.
As much as Orlando fans, or any fans for that matter really, would love to see Andrew Bynum in their teams’ jersey, he is not a player anyone should be building a franchise around.
Bynum is not a centrepiece. His game would indicate otherwise but his mind won’t ever catch up to his skills on the court. He insisted that he would continue to shoot 3’s after getting benched for the very act. He said that it doesn’t really matter where he’ll play. Most importantly, he continues to expose his lack of passion and concern for winning.
Despite playing with Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum doesn’t show up to work every day. It is more than a little distressing that with their playoff lives at stake, Bynum came up with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 0 blocks. The 10 points are not the issue because sometimes you don’t score, especially with Kobe taking 33 shots. The 4 rebounds and 0 blocks are what pop off the page.
When everything was on the line, the Lakers center came up with a Terrell Owens when he is mad at his quarterback type performance. Apathetic.
Don’t chalk up his poor play to immaturity that will mature sooner or later. Bynum has a body of work as evidence to the contrary. Immature is what Andrew Bynum is.
Until recently, Dwight Howard was applauded for his boyish charm and his juvenile attitude was seen as something that he would grow out of. I think it’s safe to say that ship has sailed. D-12’s infantile behaviour has already cost his franchise one of the best coaches in the NBA and in due time he will force the Magic to rebuild completely from scratch.
When you talk about championship material, Andrew Bynum is one of the last guys you would think of. Sometimes the light turns on for certain players like a flip has just been switched. For the past few years, it seemed as though the light just needed to be switched on for Andrew Bynum. Now it’s clear that the light in Bynum’s head is forever broken, never to be turned on.
Barring injuries, Andrew Bynum will carry on being one of the most productive centers in the NBA for years to come. He has been given too many gifts from the big man upstairs. A championship is by no means out of the question for whichever team Bynum ends up playing for as long as he is not the one leading the charge.
Some team will expect Andrew Bynum to eventually be the future of their franchise. But how can anyone expect Bynum to lead a group of players when he can’t even lead himself in the right direction?
Andrew Bynum’s true colors were revealed again last night and those colors aren’t piloting any team to an NBA championship.
Chris is a writer on Comedic Prose, and he also is the editor of Painting the Black.