Goodbye, Big Fella

Darius Soriano —  August 10, 2012

Andrew Bynum came to the Lakers as the youngest player ever drafted into the NBA. Taken out of high school with the 10th pick in 2005 – the highest the team had drafted in over 10 years – the Lakers gambled that the young big man would develop and become a franchise cornerstone. He had immense size, good hands, and an inquisitive mind. He also had little basketball experience, never completing a full season in high school. For all intents and purposes, he was a blank slate that would need to be molded and developed. No one really knew what he would become. Everyone, though, had hope.

And so it began.

In his first season he showed that he would be willing to compete, producing a sequence we all remember. After being used as a catapult and getting pogo’d into the hardwood by a Shaq tip slam, Bynum raced up the floor and delivered quick retribution with a nifty spin move and a strong finish of his own. For good measure, he let the former franchise big man know he’d arrived by delivering a bump that the Diesel countered with one his trademarked pork chop elbows. On that night Bynum showed he’d stand up to anyone and that he had some skill to play with the big boys. It was one of the few highlights in a season of mostly watching and learning but it was something.

Fast forward a few years and you have a disgruntled Kobe wondering when the investment in the young fella would ever bear fruit. A parking lot video full of pot shots soon became the story of the day with everyone wondering how Bynum would respond. As it turned out, quite well. Using that video as a bit of extra motivation, Bynum came into camp ready to be a contributor; ready to start his ascension as one of the better young big men in the league.

In 2008 Bynum showed that all the hard work was paying off. Tutoring sessions with Kareem helped produce a foundation of strong footwork that all big men need to be effective. With solid feet, his young legs provided the spring for him to play a dashing, above the rim game. His long arms and good hands meant no pass was ever out of reach. Lob city wasn’t a thing in 2008, but with Kobe and Bynum running the 2/5 pick and roll, it probably should have been. Bynum dunked everything in sight, or at least tried to. The chip on his shoulder was pronounced and it came attached to a body that was primed to unleash havoc. Kobe was happy, the Lakers were surprising the league by ranking among the West’s top teams, and everything was looking up.

Until, of course it wasn’t.

On that fateful January night in Memphis, Kobe crashed into his young big man’s knee. The face of the franchise who once sarcastically scoffed at young Bynum now gasped as he saw that the guy he’d just started to lean on toppled over in pain, clutching his leg. Bynum would be done for the year. The Lakers would go on to trade for Pau Gasol and reach the Finals anyway. And thus, a new stage in Bynum’s career was born.

Bynum came back the following year hoping to build on what was the start of his previous season’s breakout but found a team that had changed with him in street clothes. Pau had become the anchor in the pivot, his exquisite passing and all around game one of the pillars of the triple post offense. Lamar Odom also raised his level of play. Properly slotted as the team’s do it all big man, scoring some nights, assisting on others, always on the glass, always everywhere defensively. Together with Gasol, they were the ones that closed games; they were the ones whose versatility blended so nicely with Kobe. The team went on to win the title, Bynum playing his role as de facto starting Center who closed games cheering on his mates from the bench. His contributions were necessary to win but the credit was doled out to the guys that did the heavy lifting at the end.

But even with a role somewhat in flux, Bynum just continued to improve. His athleticism wasn’t quite the same but his body became transformed. His shoulders and arms chiseled, he began bullying his man more with straight post ups. In the process of working more from the block, his game also became more refined. Less frequent were the above the rim finishes, instead replaced with righty jump hooks and counter spins to the baseline. He’d flash a face up jumper, a lefty jump hook. Then he’d lower the boom with a lob just to show he could still do that too.

In 2010 the Lakers went on to repeat as champions. Bynum took a larger role but was still part of the three-headed big man monster. The Lakers don’t win without him gutting through a meniscus tear and playing the final three series hobbled; they certainly don’t grab all those offensive rebounds in game 7 against the Celtics without him occupying defenders and giving his all. Bynum showed us all that winning was all that mattered and that he’d be willing to make the sacrifices to do so.

But here is where the story gets complicated. Surgery to repair his torn meniscus was delayed by a trip to the World Cup and a surgeon’s vacation. The procedure itself changed from routine to more complex – a change that would aid in Bynum’s long term health but also extend his recovery period. He’d start the season on the shelf and his team would feel the effects of that later. Pressed into longer minutes, Gasol wore down. Bynum wasn’t quite himself upon return and took time to find his stride.

By the time the playoffs came the Lakers looked weary from long playoff runs and heavy minutes, though Bynum looked as good as he ever had. His game was showing full polish by April of 2011. The lefty jump hook was part of his arsenal. As was all the nifty baseline work born of drop steps and quick spins. He took on more responsibility in that post-season but it didn’t really matter. The Lakers were swept. The defense crumbled, Bynum’s frustration led to a terrible foul on J.J. Barrea and quotes about trust issues.

All the while though, Bynum simply continued to improve. By this past season, the potential that was so often attached to his name became actual production. A fully healthy season produced season highs in minutes and averages in points and rebounds. He’d clinch a game versus the Celtics with a power post up move that one of the league’s best defenders looked helpless to stop. He’d have a 30 rebound game. In a playoff game he’d record a triple double that included 10 blocked shots. He earned his first all-star berth and was named 2nd team All-NBA. He’d asked for more, gotten more, and delivered.

There have been missteps along the way. This past season showed a player not yet fully aware of what it means to be a leader. Some games he loafed. Others he went off and did whatever he felt like doing on any given possession on both sides of the ball. He’d sit out of huddles. He’d miss a meeting. His honesty, while always welcomed to an eager press corps, wasn’t always the right thing to say in public. And, I could go on. Despite all that, though, Andrew Bynum showed a great self awareness. He knew what he was, how he was perceived, and worked through all of it to become a fantastic player.

There’s something to be said for watching a player develop on the team you root for. Bynum went from chubby and unpolished to the 2nd best Center in the league. He did so through injuries and surgeries. Through trade rumors and a role in which he wanted to be more than what he was being asked to do. He never really got credit for how much work he put in, consistently being called lazy or not caring enough about basketball.

I never understood those claims. You don’t come back from injury better than before without working hard or without caring. You don’t mold your body by putting in the hours. You don’t refine your skills, develop counters, and keep adding new facets every year without caring. You don’t speak your mind either. I for one, will miss seeing Andrew Bynum play for the team I root for. He helped win two championships and gave us many moments to remember during his 7 years with the team. He grew up – not fully, but a great deal – during his time in Los Angeles.

And now he’ll get his shot to take his game even further in Philly. Good luck, Andrew Bynum.

Darius Soriano

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to Goodbye, Big Fella

  1. Bye-num


  2. I’ve always been a big fan of Bynum – I wish him well on the 76ers. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next seven years of his career look like.

    PS: Reposting my comment from the bottom of the last thread – this is important since it’s become a common trope on this website:

    RE: No one survives herniated disc surgery:

    It seems like aaron’s “statistic” about Pippen being alone in recovery is a little off. I scrounged up a study or two from some orthopedics journals, and found some goodies:

    From 1991-2007, there were twenty-four players who underwent LD (lumbar discectomy, where they remove the problematic parts of the intervertebral disc that is pressing up against a nerve root). As far as I can tell, this is exactly what DH had done.

    The conclusion speaks for itself: “Compared with a closely matched control cohort, we found that 75% of surgical patients returned to play again in the NBA, compared with 88% in control subjects who did not undergo surgery. For those players who returned, overall athletic performance was slightly improved or no worse than control subjects.”

    This isn’t just saying that the vast majority of players who undergo the surgery return to play in the NBA. There is a statistically significant INCREASE in blocked shots/40 min by the surgery group, one year after their operations, both absolutely and compared to the control group. Rebounds/40 min declined slightly a year after surgery, but at a rate SIX times more slowly than the healthy control groups. All other measured indicators had statistically insignificant differences between the groups.

    Furthermore, the nature of the surgery decreases the risk for re-herniation – the removal of excess disc material around the nerve root means that after recovery, when disc compression does happen (like from jumping around a lot) it has more space to expand into.

    With this in mind, I’m not overly concerned about Dwight’s long-term health. The lack of constant pain every time he runs or jumps will probably be a plus, and by next April (a year after surgery) he should be good to go. Apparently he was supposed to be able to do full contact drills about four months after his surgery, since he only required a small incision with limited incidental damage to surrounding tissues (micro-discectomy). It would be annoying if he isn’t on the court until January or February, like Steven A Smith suggested, but it’s worth ensuring he isn’t in danger of re-injuring himself. He’s 26 guys, he still should have at least three or four more years of elite athleticism in him. Obviously, we’ll have to see how he looks to know for sure, but this is quite encouraging.

    Also, If Gasol was able to come in at the trade deadline in 2008, it should be ok if the team has to wait until January to showcase Howard. He’ll still be with the team, participating in (limited) practices, and learning schemes. Now, it would be rough for the Lakers’ record if we were without a center for the first few months of the season, but luckily we have TWO of the top four centers in the league on our squad.

    The Heat and OKC are probably in a panic right now, and are trying to pick up Bugs Bunny (or even Bill Murray) to try to counter LA’s offseason.


  3. Nice tribute. Will miss the big guy. But I’m here in NJ so I’ll pay my respects to him at a 76ers game…when DWIGHT and Kobe and company come to town!


  4. From the last thread:

    Personally, I feel sad to see Bynum go. We have gone through so much with the guy, the move on Shaq, the agony of his two injuries when he was just reaching greatness, playing hurt through two titles, the immature comments and actions.

    I remember the night of his second knee injury, feeling utterly terrible, loging on to FB & G to get some company in my misery.

    Well, it is what it is, and I hope Andrew lives up to his potential.


  5. Never sold on Bynum, glad to see him go but I am thankful he brought us Dwight. For years now I knew Dwight would come here because of Bynum’s value, just didn’t expect Orlando to pass on having Bynum in the organization.

    Matt you can post that again and again, normal fans will read it and say oh great Dwight has a great statistical chance to recover and be just as healthy. A guy like Aaron will read that and be pissed off that he is wrong AGAIN and post his own in-denial opinion that Scottie Pippen is the only player in the history of human beings to recover from back surgery.

    Cheers to being a Lakers fan, I know I’ll be having a cold one after work in honor of our front office.

    Only business left is to sign a backup center for the veteran minimum, and a SG to back up Kobe.

    Plus everyone can just think about how next summer all these great free agents will be willing to sign with LA for the veteran’s minimum just like Ray Allen did with Miami (after Dwight probably will resign of course).


  6. I’m just going to leave this right here.

    I wish Bynum well with the 76ers. He has a team that he can legitimately call HIS team and the spotlight is now on him. Time will tell whether or not he improves the few remaining areas in his game (handling double teams, leadership, effort, etc.) and becomes a true franchise player or not.


  7. who else is (are) leaving? total salary does not match, right?


  8. Classy, well-written post. Good work.

    I wish Bynum well, but I must admit that my overarching sense of him is mostly negative. Like Shaq, he could have been SO dominant, SO brilliant, made his mark on EVERY game, but he just didn’t seem to have that desire. Shaq earned the right to loaf (to the extent that anyone does) because he was MDE and the best player on at least a couple of championship teams, but Bynum often looked like he was completely disinterested, or was taken out of the game by a single bad call, or whatever.

    I was never one to criticize AB’s off-court antics – I think it’s just fodder for the TJ Simers of the world and reveals nothing about his character, at least nothing compared to what we see on the court – and I hope he succeeds in Philly, but frankly, I won’t mourn over his departure. Perhaps I will when Howard is at the FT line clanking a couple of bricks but, for now, I can only wonder if is this too cruel: The Queen is dead. Long live the King!

    Welcome to LA, Dwight! (BTW, Woj reporting the deal has been officially approved by the league…)

    IMWT: In Mitch We Trust. Even Ken is onboard now! Can’t wait for opening day….


  9. matt,
    “It seems like aaron’s “statistic” about Pippen being alone in recovery is a little off”

    Say it ain’t so!


  10. I’m glad 75 percent of players after back surgery return to the NBA. If 25 percent of players don’t even make it back to the league imagine the ones who make it back and can’t perform nearly as well… Like David Robinson, Larry Johnson, and Peja.


  11. This Laker offseason has been incredible. Still, it’s hard to see Bynum go. I think of all he contributed over the last few years. How he HAS grown as a player, even with his issues with focus. And what he could have done had his teammates not made a hobby of landing on his legs.

    It’s always more fun to win with a guy like Drew, who was drafted and home grown. I’ll take some time to warm up to Dwight. Emotionally it sucks. But if I was GM, I’d do this deal in a heartbeat. Dwight adds athleticism and defense that the Lakers badly need.

    Even if you think of the two players as roughly equal, Dwight fits the Lakers’ needs more than Drew. I hope Drew finds himself in Philly and becomes the player most of think he can be. Meanwhile, let’s hang a couple more banners in LA. This will be an exciting year.


  12. Again… I’m hoping Dwight is the exception to the rule… But I went through actual players that had the Dwight back surgery and the only one I found was Pippen who maintained an elite level after surgery. I want someone to find actual players who have also done it so I can feel better about it.


  13. Ok, so deal is DONE. Finally!


  14. Aaron:

    Did you miss this part of the post you were responding to?

    “For those players who returned, overall athletic performance was slightly improved or no worse than control subjects.

    This isn’t just saying that the vast majority of players who undergo the surgery return to play in the NBA. There is a statistically significant INCREASE in blocked shots/40 min by the surgery group, one year after their operations, both absolutely and compared to the control group. Rebounds/40 min declined slightly a year after surgery, but at a rate SIX times more slowly than the healthy control groups. All other measured indicators had statistically insignificant differences between the groups.

    Furthermore, the nature of the surgery decreases the risk for re-herniation – the removal of excess disc material around the nerve root means that after recovery, when disc compression does happen (like from jumping around a lot) it has more space to expand into.”

    I know you were a big Bynum fan and against trading him. But if this evidence is to be trusted, then your biggest argument didn’t just go kind of out the window, it went COMPLETELY out the window.


  15. Oh and McBob is gone as well. But we still have Eyenga. So there’s that 🙂


  16. Philly seems like the perfect fit for Bynum. They have the young legs and speed to offset his lumbering pace, and the shooters to give him room to operate in the post. If Doug Collins decides to pair Bynum with a tweener like Thadeus Young at PF, he will have even more space to operate. Philly is going to have some issues playing defense in transition and against the P&R, especially after losing an elite defender in Iguadala, but offensively, Bynum should thrive.

    I would expect a defensive minded coach like Doug Collins to have a quick trigger whenever Bynum starts getting lazy on defense, especially with the addition of Kwame, yeah I said it, Kwame, and in the long run, I think Collins will help Bynum a great deal in terms of hustle and maturity on the court.


  17. Good luck, big fella. I hope you make it big in the East. I’ll keep my eye on you.

    Something tells me we’ll meet again one day………….hopefully in the Finals in a series for the ages.


  18. Jim,

    Stop supplying Aaron with sound analysis or facts. Bynum is the greatest, and Kobe is a liability…and that’s final!


  19. Philly now has an abundance of wings – Evan Turner, Jason Richardson, Nick Young, Dorrell Wright and not much of a back-up PG – Royal Ivey is the only candidate.

    LA now has an abundance of back-up PGs – Blake, Duhon and Morris, and not enough depth at wing.



  20. @JimC:

    That video clip was awesome. My personal favorite was Jared Dudley at 4. He kept walking around like a headless chicken staring at the backboard 🙂


  21. Re: Duhon and Clark. What are we getting with those 2 guys? Can Duhon play some backup 2? WIll Clark ever see floor time behind Pau, Jamison, Artest, and Hill? Is McBob gone? Is there another trade coming, or are we gonna waive somebody? Does a Duhon/Blake backcourt pass for a 2nd unit in the NBA?

    Re; Bynum. Sad to see him go without ever realizing his potential, but I won’t miss his attitude, jacking up 3’s, ignoring timeouts, acting non-chalant after a bad loss or ejection. He never seemed to be on the same page as anybody. In my college athletic career (Rowing, a total team sport) I had one season in which I had the most talented team I had ever been on. The problem was there was one guy who was always the opposite mood of everyone else. We flopped in the conference championship race. The next season we won the conference title with a much less talented crew. Bynum was starting to bring that element to the Lakers last season and I won’t miss it.

    Re: Aaron- dude, you are the Andrew Bynum of this blog. Talented, but never on the same page as anybody. Negative when we’re feeling positive, positive when we’re feeling negative.


  22. It was Drew’s prediction that the Nuggets would roll over after being down 3-1, followed by the stinker he laid in that Game 5, that caused me to step away from watching the team and participating in the discussions here. Glad that he’s gone. I was one of his biggest backers, and I still think he can salvage his reputation by going all-out in Philly. I hope Collins lights a fire under him.



  23. Bynum should have been a career long Laker.

    Bynum I wish you wouldn’t have acted up last year, I thought you were a keeper till then. Thanks for playing in two finals with that awful brace. Thanks for your contributions during the championships. Wish you well, kid.

    You’ll now have a team you can call your own, but remember defenses will now be constructed to stop you. Keep your head up.


  24. Kobe and Metta better be practicing them 3’s.


  25. BTW, you know there’s no love lost between Wade and Howard, right?


  26. Mea Culpa:

    In the previous thread, I said that it didn’t look like we had to include McBob in the trade.

    Via the good folks at Silver Screen and Roll, it appears that is not the case and we will be waiving goodbye to the McRoberts era as well.

    “The terms of the trade are pretty remarkably in the Lakers’ favor. They didn’t have to give up Pau Gasol, and the bad contract they received (Chris Duhon is owed $7.5M the next two seasons) is nearly cancelled out because they got rid of a bad contract of their own with Josh McRoberts heading to Orlando. They give up a young player with potential in Christian Eyenga, but the dude was a project and unlikely to factor much in the coming season. The first round draft pick? Please. This was basically a straight swap of Bynum for Howard, and that is an absolute coup for the Los Angeles Lakers.”


  27. Speaking of rivalries – I miss the days when teams/players genuinely hated each other. Now, because of Team USA, you can’t stay mad at each other for long. Case in point – this year, there was a lot of talk about how the OKC3 were festering about the Finals loss.

    A couple of weeks later you are now fighting together, for the sake of your country. Once the season starts, can you put your (NBA) game face on again? I say no. You’ve gone through too much together to want to hate the other person again.
    Maybe this deserves a separate post?


  28. Aaron,

    I know that you are heartbroken, but consider . . .

    He will now be 100 miles from his Momma’s home cooking. He’ll be happy.

    Go buy yourself a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. You’ll get over it.


  29. Off topic:

    Kobe was randomly drug tested after his 20 point game against Australia.

    Wonder if Stern had anything to do with that random pick? Stern attended that game. Coincidence, maybe.


  30. or keep singing praise for Bynum in 6er’s forum:


  31. It has been fun watching Bynum grow for the past 7 years. He’s had low lights but the highlights outweigh those. I’ll be watching very closely to see how he does without HOFers next to him.

    LA only has one Simers, who was on Bynum’s side until this past year, Philly has a room full of them. Interesting to see how Drew reacts to a much more lethal fanbase and writers. It hasn’t affected him in the past but big difference in media between LA and Philly.

    Nice young team in Philly w/ shooter (Jrue, Young, Wright). I could see Drew averaging 21 pts 9 reb. I do think it’ll be a drastic difference when Bynum is the only player on a team that gets doubled. HE should do fine but my opinions will be tested.

    Best of luck to Andrew Bynum.


  32. Jim C,
    These stas aren’t real to me as I don’t see any players involved. Of the players I’ve seen have the surgery only Pippen came out the same on the other end. For all I know this report was financed by a medical institute.

    Re Bynum,
    As people who have actually read what I’ve written over the years… I’m not a Bynum fan. I’m a Lakers fan. He was never my favorite player. That honor went to Kobe and recently to Ron Artest. But because I speak objectivley about Lakers players… When you breakdown the roster Bynum was the best Laker last season. I will be rooting against Bynum and for Dwight to fully recover from his back surgery whenever he does return.


  33. I am totally overwhelmed by the awesome display of General Managership (is that a word?) by Mitch Kupchak. He wound up with the ultimate prize. Kudos to the entire Laker front office. The beat goes on! I’m not ashamed to say that I did some weird form of dancing when I heard that the trade had been officially approved by the NBA.

    I really liked Bynum initially. His potential and breakout performances before his first knee injury were a joy to behold. I don’t think he ever regained his athleticism and speed following the third surgery. He seemed unwilling to push his body to the limit, possibly because of a fear of re-injury. Of course, that’s only my opinion.

    Andrew greatly disappointed me as a Laker fan during the past season because of his inconsistent effort. He seemed unable to embrace his importance to the team on the defensive side of the floor. I wish him well in the new chapter of his career, except against the Lakers, of course!


  34. Bye-num

    No more slow and non-athletic center that instead of playing D, ask for “more touches”



  35. “this is a fake study! it’s by a medical institute!!!”

    What does that even mean? If you looked at the author info section of that *peer-reviewed* orthopedic surgery journal article, you would see that it’s primarily linked to the Department of Orthopedic surgery at UPenn Medical, with contributions from a few other medical schools. Is that somehow not extremely qualified for this question? I know you watch a lot of surgeries so I’m legitimately wondering.

    And on the subject of funding sources: “No funds were received in support of this work. No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.”


  36. I’ll miss Bynum. He had his flaws, for sure, but I liked his game a lot. Big men with soft hands and a lot of low-post moves are rare these days.

    Now that the die have been cast, we have to hope that Howard is healthy, is willing to stay in L.A. beyond next season, and that he’ll quit acting like a complete primadonna and focus on helping his new team win.

    Bynum’s attitude and maturity leave lots of room for improvement, no doubt. But Howard’s behavior has been far, far worse. The way he screwed over the fans, teammates, ownership, head coach and GM in Orlando last season was just disgusting. Let’s not forget that as everyone rushes to roll out the red carpet.


  37. We, as Laker fans, are so fortunate that our ownership and management has consistently looked to make the Lakers a championship contender. While we harp on them for sometimes being penny wise and pound foolish the reality is that other teams look to save a buck far more often than the Buss’s.

    Kudos to Jimmy Buss and Mitch Kupchak.


  38. Dr. Aaron Bynum, I’m going to have to side with the medical study.

    I think Bynum will average 24 10 and 1.8 with a lower fg% and with the first 3/4th’s of the season, struggling with double teams. I think his rebound rate will go down but will be seen as a beast.

    In a way I am glad he is going somewhere that he is the man. I think that was his problem here, he has need to get the ball, but watching the world’s 5th best player jack up a bunch of shots when Bynum thought he had a mismatch must be tough. And to do it for 82 games plus playoffs for 2 straight years had to have worn on him.

    I hope he stays healthy


  39. 30,

    No. Just stop


  40. hats off to buss and kupchak. you could have 5 hall of famers on the court at the same time this year. (it’s impossible to ignore ron ron’s issues, but I think his basketball skills are at least worth a discussion of hof status – but I have to admit there is a loooong line of folks who should be there before him)


  41. Shaq, R. Wallace, P. Gasol, M. Gasol, Garnett, Bynum, Howard. Those are the big men that have been traded last 8 years. Lakers had a part in 5 of those names and they all changed the landscape in the NBA. I expect that trend to continue.

    Bynum, Hawes, Kwame, Lavoy, Young. Sixers have size and that’s 30 fouls to use. I could see Sixers being a top 4 team next year.


  42. Chris J,

    You said it all @37. Let’s see Howard play before we start doing back flips about him coming here.

    Also, any Orlando fans reading this blog and seeing comments about how immature and childish Bynum is (in comparison to Howard) have to laughing their butts off.

    Lastly, good luck to Bynum. If there was one coach in the league a young player should want to play for its Doug Collins. If Bynum can keep his head about him he will really flourish under Collins.


  43. it’s going to be awkward when drew plays 82 games and howard has to shut it down after two weeks.


  44. Watching the Olympic semi-final vs. Argentina. That Scola is really easy to dislike.


  45. link?

    Phillip Barnett (Forum Blue and Gold/TrueHoop Network):
    For those asking earlier, Lakers have brought on Jodie Meeks. Much needed shooter.

    Mike Bresnahan@Mike_Bresnahan
    Lakers agree to terms w/ reserve SG Jodie Meeks on a 2-year deal for about $3 mill. 2nd yr is team option. Meeks is 37% career 3-pt shooter.


  46. Kobe off to a great start. LeBron is a load. I think that the US will wear down the team from the Pampas.


  47. Is meeks report confirmed?


  48. My year long dream has come true !

    I hereby officially kiss the ring of Jim Buss !


  49. No one knows how Howard will return from surgery. Each player injures, responds, and recovers to injuries differently.

    Aaron, you’re using very few examples to generalize about an injury and treatment you know nothing about. Not only that, the examples you gave are disingenuous.

    From Basketball Reference:

    David Robinson posted stellar PERs between 29 and 30 1996. During the ’96 and ’97 season, he sustained the back injury you referred to. Starting with his return in the ’98 season, Robinson posted PERs of around 24 for three consecutive years… at the ages of 33, 34, and 35. While not the all-world numbers posted during his late 20’s early 30’s, pretty damn good for a man who you claim was never the same after the injury.

    Peja posted a PER of 15.7 in the 2007-8 season, a dip from previous seasons, but not too dramatic from the 16.7 he posted in 2005-6. In the next seasons, his PERs declined further to around 12, these at the age of 32 and 33.

    So Pippen and Robinson, not so much. Peja may support your case, but what evidence do you have that Howard’s injury is like Peja or Johnson’s and will (not) heal like theirs. Also, the study cited by Jim C. pretty much tears down your argument. You should admit at least partial defeat lest you risk sounding more like a quack.


  50. Wow yet another good move by Mitch – are we done or will we look for more?


  51. does anyone know what the deal with Ebanks is?


  52. mitch’s next trade – gasol for love straight up. just playing.


  53. Jodie Meeks not confirmed on or but here is the Bleacher Report. He settles for 2 years and $3 million. Not the minimum and not the full mid level either. He wants to compete for a title. A smart 24 year old kid.


  54. Having watched Jodie Meeks since his college days being a UK fan I can tell you the Lakers are getting a heck of a scorer/shooter.

    He is limited defensively, but let’s be honest with a guy like Dwight protecting the rim will take care of that.

    What a great signing and what a heck of a day to be a Lakers fan.


  55. This is just a great day in the history of our franchise.

    The Laker lineage continues: Mikan (5), Chamberlain (1), Jabbar (5), O’Neal (3), Howard (?)

    Just by the law of averages – this should be worth 3 or 4 Championships : )


  56. Aaron is the same guy that was sure Bynum ruptured his achilles and would never be the same player again before the 2010 playoffs. Obviously, it turned out to be a strain, the lakers won the championship, and drew has developed into the 2nd best center in the game since that time. My point is that aaron’s track record as a credible resource for sports medicine information is spotty.

    As a physical therapy student with an undergrad in athletic training, it would be imprudent to dismiss a surgery to repair a herniated disk (microdiscectomy) that caused neurological signs as inconsequential. With that being said, im sure that the laker medical team is well aware of the progress made in his recovery and MUCH more qualified to speak to his prognosis than any of us here. If they deemed it unsatisfactory, i can’t imagine that they would ok this deal…and aaron, you talk about guys like David Robinson and and Peja as proof that this surgery is sure to sap dwight’s athleticism. Although admittedly i don’t know much about their specific cases, I seem to remember David Robinson and Peja having long, productive careers. Did these surgeries occur at the tail end of their careers when athleticism was beginning to naturally diminish and their bodies’ natural abilities to heal decreased? My point is that every case is different. To assume the absolute worst based on outcomes of cases that we have no personal knowledge of is useless.


  57. I see above that a favorite of Aaron’s used to be Kobe. That’s hard to believe. I heard Aaron on the radio today and he really sounded hating.

    Perhaps Kobe disappointed him and he turned against him – I don’t know any of the facts. However, Kobe has been playing for an awfully long time and both his game and athleticism have changed over that time. For us to criticize Kobe for not being able to do the things he did at 24 is silly. At least Kobe has continued to work and adjust – that’s more than most NBA players do over a few years, never mind their entire career.

    One of the best to ever put on an NBA jersey – enjoy him while he is still playing the game.


  58. You know guys, we could just, like, not feed the troll.


  59. All this Howard back talk is nonsense. Bynums knees are worse and who know how much longer he can play??? It is going to be interesting what he becomes going forward. If he couldnt be professional with the Lakers I wonder what he will be as the focal point in Philly. Thank God he is gone


  60. @49, Loved your stats, but actually, I would even move Robinson out of that. His PER went down when he came back after his surgery, but that could also be attributed to that PF they drafted… what was his name? Oh yah Tim Duncan. 🙂


  61. I would bet that AB has problems with Collins and he has more chance of injury then Howard.

    That being said Howard is the perfect center for this team making it easier for our backcourt to play better offense and not push it on offense.

    This is 2nd best trade next to Pau in 20 years. Let’s enjoy it and tune out the negative one.


  62. I meant not push on defense.


  63. I will be sad to see Bynum go, but I’m curious to see what Dwight is capable of now that he won’t have to worry about being doubled every possession. Bynum had similar numbers but without the number of double teams that Howard faced. Things should reverse now that Bynum is the go to guy and Dwight is just one of a bad Laker posse.


  64. Btw, did we ever hire Eddie Jordan to run the offense? If so, how is Dwight going to fit in with that?


  65. Was always a big Bynum fan,like a father watching a son mature (or not). When he gets back from Germany, I`ll be interested to if some of his quickness and atheticism has been restored. Philly has enough outside shooting to make the hi-lo game with Bynum go.


  66. The last assist of Bynum to the Lakers was the signing of Dwight Howard. Without him an an exchange, it would not have been possible. Bynum has a fascinating story whom we all saw as raw player on his first game in the Summer League, Ronnie Turiaf was his mentor on that game I can recall. Then, we all see his development after being tutored by the legend, the Cap.

    He could have continued the Laker Center legacy from Mikan to Shaq, however he end up as just a role player. Very disappointed with his performance in the recent playoffs, he is no SuperCenter but a lazy Center. Well, the trade did not go through, maybe just maybe, Nash could have made him a Super Center. Well, he is now a past tense, we fast forward to the Superduper Center.

    Welcome to diva, what took you so long Clark Kent to come home to displace Lex Luthor. You will enjoy this planet and I t will bet you will not go to the team of the real Joker, Mark Cuban.


  67. I am also worried about howards back. Having a back injury myself, I know that it messes with you…


  68. Bynum actually came down on Odoms foot for the first knee injury. The one when Kobe fell onto his knee was the next season.