Maybe it’s all the drama Kobe has been going through with the Besiktas speculation. Could be that Andrew Bynum has no desire to risk injury for a lesser paycheck. Or perhaps Drew just wants to keep it local where he can train in Freddie Roach’s gym by day while practicing piano and learning Spanish by night.
Whatever it is has Bynum not even considering going overseas during the work stoppage. Lance Pugmire – perhaps working his connects as the L.A. Times’ boxing beat writer – actually caught up with Drew to get the first interview with the young center since the Lakers landed face first in Dallas. Safe to say there won’t be any worries of Bynum playing in Norway while seeking part-time work on daytime television.
When asked if he would consider follow the likes of Ron Artest overseas Bynum expressed his desire to stay in shape here in L.A. while also showing some optimism for next season.
No, I’ll stay here and stay in shape. [The lockout] seems bad, but I don’t think anyone wants to lose games. Player salaries aren’t the issue as much as people buying teams and arenas that have been devalued by the things that are part of everyone’s life now. We might miss training camp, but I think the season will start on time.
Nice to know Drew is making hoops a priority this offseason. Too bad he didn’t take a similar approach last year but I guess that is just part of Bynum’s maturing process.
Speaking of maturing, Andrew also opened up about the embarrassing way the season ended for both him and his teammates. There is no doubt the Lakers lacked the championship focus that’s been there the last two seasons prior. Bynum said as much when asked why the team fell apart against the eventual champions.
We got embarrassed and we all need to come back focused, ready to win. You lose 4-0, there’s not much more to be said. I was the first one to admit we didn’t work hard enough to win. Let’s tell the truth. It was due to a myriad of reasons — our collective drive and determination. It’s about being accountable. Me included. Everyone included.
This is a somewhat encouraging sign of Andrew’s progression. He’s an NBA vet so it’s easy to forget Bynum still isn’t even old enough to rent a car with certain companies. However there is another issue that relates to Bynum’s maturity that has caused recent headlines. Pugmire didn’t pull any punches, diving right in and asking Drew about his parking preferences. That’s about the only issue Drew isn’t touching.
Q: What happened in that parking incident at the grocery store?
A: I’m not talking about that.