Building around Andrew Bynum was always a proposition of constructing a house on top of the La Brea tar pits. His game is beyond legit. That was never the issue. How consistently he displayed his entire arsenal and how focused Bynum was night in and night out will always be the concern.
Maybe the no nonsense approach of Doug Collins will be more effective than Phil Jackson’s hands-off methods or Mike Brown’s buddy-buddy technique. Either way that is Philadelphia’s dilemma now. Mitch Kupchak did well to move Bynum before being forced to pony up another huge contract.
Jim Buss did even better by coming to his senses and realizing that Baby Bynum is here to stay.
No matter Bynum’s age he’s an NBA vet and veteran players with a couple of rings have no business being as immature, aloof and selfish and Bynum routinely was. Like many of us, I was disgusted by the punk move he pulled on J.J. Barea. Like all of us I knew there was no way he’d be prepared to inherit the throne once Kobe Bryant departs.
Now that’s not saying that Dwight Howard is in anyway a sure fire bet to be the next great Laker big. Winning titles (plural) is the only way to get into that conversation. None the less it feels strangely more comfortable trusting the indecisive diva that is Howard over the insecure child that is Bynum.
How the Lakers move forward once KB24 calls it a career remains to be seen. To be sure that’s in the not-so-distant future. For now Kupchak did well to move his most trade-worthy asset while he still held value. Another all-star season from Bynum would have put L.A. at the crossroads. At least with Howard in the mix there is a sense of security going forward. At least until the offseason rolls around and Howard begins another round of passive-aggressive demands.
Had Bynum remained in Los Angeles his bloated sense of entitlement would have increased faster than Anna Gunn’s waistline. Jim Buss has enabled Bynum at every turn so perhaps this trade will finally motivate the talented temper tantrum thrower to finally grow up. No matter the case the Lakers did well to cut their future problems off at the pass even if all they’ve ultimately done is substitute one big man with issues for another. At least Howard’s problems are limited to his negotiating prowess off the court instead of his maturity issues on it. That’s one headache the Lakers can cure with an aspirin versus a full on lobotomy.