Around The World (Wide Web): Kobe, Bynum, Gasol, Nash

Ryan Cole —  December 17, 2012

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Dwight Howard tried to avoid talking about Andrew Bynum when the topic came up, and what he did say what right out of the “NBA cliché handbook.” Bynum on the other hand had no problem talking about Howard and the Lakers. He says he understands Howard’s challenges, because it’s not easy getting used to playing next to Kobe Bryant. It’s the kind of thing that could stunt a players growth.“I think Dwight’s a great player, but he’s going to have to get accustomed to playing with Kobe obviously, and not touching the ball every single play,” Bynum said…“Later I thought I was able to get the ball more and do more things with the ball, so I could definitely see how at the end it could stunt growth,” Bynum said. “Winning championships there was fun. But obviously my time there is done. Health is the main concern with me now.“I don’t regret anything. Personally, they traded No. 1 for No. 2 and that is what happened.”

From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: As the weekend kicked off Pau Gasol revealed that he was pain-free and close to returning for the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, he called a return Tuesday against the Charlotte Bobcats “questionable” and the Saturday contest against the Golden State Warriors “probable”. It looks like that “questionable” is now an “expected”, per Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Bresnahan. The timeline makes a great deal of sense, as the Lakers’ next game after Tuesday night comes Saturday, providing them a window to see how Gasol responds to playing actual minutes on the floor while maintaining a cushion to allow him to rest and receive treatment on the tendinitis in his knees which has had him sidelined since December 2nd. With Jordan Hill also stating he is hoping to play Tuesday, the Lakers will happily accept adding bodies to their maligned depth. Especially in the form of Pau Gasol.

From T.J. Simmers, LA Times: His life has already been one of amazing accomplishment on and off the court. So it’s a thrill to meet him. I don’t get the opportunity often to talk to someone who is almost my age and still playing professional basketball, with plans following retirement to make motion pictures How inspiring to know it’s never too late in life; Steve Nash is now considered the savior to pull the Lakers out of a nose dive. Putting it that way, Nash says, “Hey, if I was in your shoes I know I wouldn’t want to bet the ranch on this guy either. But in my shoes, I still feel incredibly optimistic and inspired.” Nice speech. But didn’t your brother Martin play professional soccer? Your younger brother? How old was he when he called it quits? “Thirty-five,” says Nash, who will be 39 in February. “I know at some point my game has got to go, and my game is getting into gaps. And if I can’t get there anymore…” says Nash, his voice dropping off, which is certainly a lot better than the old guy nodding off. “I’ve got a lot to prove,” says Nash, which is kind of funny to hear knowing the old-timer has already been acknowledged twice as the game’s MVP. “I played basketball in October for the first time since April. I trained my butt off all summer, but I didn’t play basketball because I wanted to be fresh mentally. Now I’ve got six weeks of inactivity to overcome and I’m going to be 39.” Did I also mention the Lakers’ top shortcoming is defense, and their savior can’t play a lick of it?

From Dave McMenamin, ESPN Los Angeles: Kobe Bryant was back in his hometown of Philadelphia on Saturday. It’s the place he came into this world in the summer of 1978, back when his dad, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played alongside a legion of legends in Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Bobby Jones and Darryl Dawkins. The Los Angeles Lakers had the day off in advance of their game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, so Bryant — already a Lakers legend in his own right — made the nine-mile drive from downtown Philly to the only alma mater he can claim, Lower Merion High School, nestled in the city’s western suburbs. It’s the place Bryant first became a champion, capturing a state title, and doing so while doing what he does best — scoring a ton of points. He even broke Wilt Chamberlain’s Southeastern Pennsylvania high school scoring record (with 2,883 points to Chamberlain’s 2,252) in his four years at Lower Merion. (So, even though Wilt’s got him beat 100-81 in terms of the top single-game scoring feat, Bryant certainly deserves mention in the same basketball stratosphere as the Big Dipper.) As Bryant looked across the current crop of teenagers playing for Aces coach Gregg Downer (who is still manning the sidelines for L.M. some 17 seasons after he last coached Bryant in 1996, just like Bryant’s still chugging along in the NBA 17 years later) and couldn’t help but wonder.


From Kevin Ding, OC Register: The Lakers bottomed out in Cleveland, got a little better in New York, won ugly in Washington and then put a lot of pieces together Sunday in Philadelphia. The Lakers beat the 76ers, 111-98, and finished this four-game trip with the energy that Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has long been seeking. The Lakers also looked for one of the few times this season like a team having fun playing together, getting encouraging contributions from fill-in point guards Chris Duhon and Darius Morris while Metta World Peace worked for 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds while mostly playing power forward. World Peace’s previous high in rebounds came nearly seven years ago. But it was one of those games where things just went the Lakers’ way, with Kobe Bryant sharp (34 points) and improving the Lakers’ record when he scores at least 30 points to 3-11. It was enough for Bryant to speak of how enjoyable future success could be, with Pau Gasol and Steve Nash nearing injury returns. Bryant compared the Lakers’ season to a wonderful springtime “after a horrible winter.”


Ryan Cole


to Around The World (Wide Web): Kobe, Bynum, Gasol, Nash

  1. I’m going to say this as gently as I possibly can.

    Andrew Bynum? You listening closely? Kindly shut the **** up. Pretty please? Look, I know you think very highly of yourself. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. To be great at ANYTHING, but in particular professional sports, it’s almost a requirement.

    But dude, your talk doesn’t match what you’ve accomplished. Your attitude, actions, words, EVERYTHING haven’t matched what you’ve actually delivered thus far for at least a couple of years now. If you want to talk the talk, then wait until you’re actually physically capable of walking the walk.

    If you want to proclaim yourself as the best center in the game, you have to actually, you know, be IN THE GAME. If you want to take pot shots at one of the best players who has ever lived, maybe you might want to have actually accomplished something first. Thus far, you have not. You have ONE All-Star game selection – as a center in a league deprived of them no less – to your credit.

    You have not been even the third best player on a championship squad. You haven’t been able to stay healthy consistently since day one. You have a string of on and off-court incidents ranging from “puzzling” to “did you just suffer a complete effing brain fart? That’s the only explanation for why you just did something so incredibly stupid.”

    But, most importantly, the reason why the offenses on teams you’ve been on in the past hasn’t run through you is that you haven’t shown you’re capable of making it work. Sure, you can be a dominant big man…against single coverage. But throw a double your way? Dude, you’re completely lost.

    Pau Gasol has not, and never will at this point, had your physical gifts. But damn, when he was your age I’d have had NO ISSUES WHATSOEVER with the offense running through him. Why? Because he could hit the cutter, pass out of a double team, etc. Howard? Same deal.

    So, Drew, for your own good, take a look in the mirror and reassess where you are in your development. You aren’t anywhere near where you think you are.

    Jim C.
    Know it all internet poster


  2. I have no problems with what Bynum stated. If anyone takes the time to actually read the article, they would see it’s a fair assessment and not a knock on Kobe. In addition Kobe agreed with Bynum. While plenty of fans like to watch Kobe play, that doesn’t mean lots of his teammates like to watch him. Sure guys want to win titles, but they want to be involved. Most of them want to get their fair share of shots also. Why is this so hard to understand? Ray Allen just left the Celtics for that reason. When Kobe played with Shaq, it made sense to basically give Shaq the ball every single time. He was unstoppable. But for the betterment of the team Kobe’s game had to be developed.

    And let’s not act like Bynum is the only guy to complain about not getting enough touches in their sweet spots while playing with Kobe. Shaq, Gasol, & now Howard have also voiced the same thing. It’s amazing this bothers so many people…it doesn’t bother Kobe…not one bit. He agrees with Bynum and tells everyone “I eat first”, lol what’s the problem?


  3. Bynum is a big baby. His statements just come off as immature and childish. Making excuses of why he was not so great his last year here. Kobe is by far the best player on the team and should be taking most the shots. Sure, Kobe can get a little selfish and not include his teammates when he should, especially at the end of games, but he is really going to use that as his excuse? And calling himself the best center in the league? LOL


  4. @BigCitySid

    Ray Allen left the Celtics because he was benched for a younger player and because he was dangled in every possible trade scenario possible for years. He can’t play any defense anymore and most of the last year was hobbled by one injury after another.

    He’s also hardly in the same place Bynum is in career wise. He’s had a long, illustrious career, won NBA records, multiple all-star appearances, been the main guy on a team, etc.

    Kobe wisely stayed above the fray for the same reason that a politician 20 points ahead of his challenger takes the high road. Prevent defense.

    Kobe and Shaq “clashed” their way to three straight titles, primarily because Shaq often was out of shape and didn’t work as hard as he should have. Hardly a monumental failure. It should be noted that Shaq won ONE more title after Kobe with a transcendental Wade + a LOT of ref help and then couldn’t do anything more the rest of his career, despite playing with the CURRENT best player in the game in the form of one Lebron and everyone’s favorite point guard (Nash) who aren’t exactly known as selfish players.

    If we’re going to throw Shaq’s name out there, we should probably mention that the Big Nickname wasn’t able to get along for long stretches with the following players: Kobe (duh), Lebron, Wade, Nash, and Penny Hardaway.

    Moving on…

    Quick! What’s Gasol’s greatest career accomplishment without Kobe?

    Moving on…

    I think it’s a LITTLE early to say that Dwight Howard is complaining about playing with Kobe. He’s coming off major back surgery and hasn’t yet been 100% himself on the court. The team’s been through two coaches and is missing it’s 3rd and 4th best players AND it’s top TWO point guards. I get that you’re trying to throw every name you can in there, but it doesn’t fit.

    Yes, Kobe has had his phases where he’s been a soulless gunner. He’s an imperfect player. That said, the list of players who PEAKED while playing with Kobe and went on to decline and/or never be heard from again AFTER playing with Kobe is long and ignoble.


  5. Amen, Jim C, Amen. Very well said.


  6. Why is this so hard to understand?

    You are confusing your feelings about Kobe with analyzing Kobe’s career.

    Like I said in the other thread, go down the list of guys who have left LA in the post-Shaq era–their careers have not taken off, post-Kobe. I can name several if you like; start with Shannon Brown. And, as Kenny T, me, and other people have said, one thing has held back Andrew Bynum, and it kept him off the floor again last night: his knees. Bynum may turn out be an exception to the rule above, but he needs to prove it. Bynum’s EFG cratered last year in the games Kobe that missed.

    As far as people’s reactions, that is a result of Bynum’s actual career arc vs. his opinion of same.

    I agree that some people are being too hard on Bynum; this is just Drew being Drew. But given that he has yet to suit up this year, it is understandable that people are put off by his giving an interview poking both Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard.


  7. Jim. As Jim Rome would say EPIC!


  8. Very well said Jim C.!


  9. So sad Drew.

    Meet Paeng Nepomuceno, you’d learn so much!


  10. All I have to say is, it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and while Kobe is expected to nurture Bynum to the degree that he’s helpful in his quest for a ring, anything beyond that is definitely Bynum’s to get for himself.


  11. Enjoyed the McMenamin article –
    @WeeLim – did Paeng Nepomuceno have knee trouble as well?
    the `know it all internet poster´ said a mouthful! 🙂


  12. Bynum should just shut up. The guy couldn’t play a single game for his new team. I’d stay really quiet.


  13. Dwight’s activity level was off the charts yesterday. Don’t know if it’s having the room to roam defensively, no practice on the day off or philly inability to take advandtage like ny guards did probably a combination of all. But when pau is back it’ll be interesting to see if his presence roaming sideline to sideline will be there like vs philly when it’s clogged in the paint.


  14. Some news – hopefully it holds up:
    “@SpearsNBAYahoo: .@Lakers Steve Nash eyeing return versus @Warriors on Saturday if practice goes well this week,sources tell Y! Sports.

    @kevin- regarding Dwight and D w Pau back – I think the d will actually get a boost from the fact that when Pau is engaged he at least can make basic rotations and can block out etc.. Also, his presence his certainly going to slow dribble penetration on the off side a bit – there won’t be quite the open lanes to the hoop when you have Pau clogging the lane or rotating over. Jamison can’t play d and Hill isn’t great on that end either – so Pau should be an upgrade in that sense. I’m looking forward to what sets MDA runs and what rotations he uses when Pau and Howards mins are staggered especially at the pf position. The fact that both low post guys need touches down low, might be a blessing in disguise in that it forces MDA to diversify his sets and iso looks for those two – for the last 8 seconds of the shot clock. He had some good quotes today and I like his strategy of looking for the best shot in the first 16 seconds and moving the ball – then having Pau, Kobe, and Dwight to go to in the last 8.


  15. Nash/Gasol practiced today.


  16. Bynum found himself held back by Kobe’s selfish play? I’d say his attitude even more than his knees held him back even more than KB. I wouldn’t take him back over Dwight if he were whole and bustin 26 and 14 nightly. Remember the sitting out time out talks with phones? Poisonous to T-E-A-M.


  17. Bynum’s numbers were identical with Kobe on the floor and off last year ( a little more effective off) but not anything huge. I know Kobe said he agreed with Drew that Kobe did stunt his growth but Drew was the centerpiece of the Lakers offense towards the end of the year and especially in the playoffs. Bynum had the best numbers on the team last year (including Kobe) so Bryant didn’t hold him back too much. What’s strange is the hate people have towards Bynum. He made benign comments Kobe himself agreed with and everyone is up in arms.


  18. The article was supposed to rile people up, although if you read it carefully, it just means that Bynum has that ‘dog in him’ that Kobe appreciates (or at least says he does). Also, I applaud Bynum for feeling it because it at least means that Bynum wanted to grow. It probably reminded Kobe a bit of himself so he definitely won’t go on record and blast Bynum for those comments.


  19. Nash/Gasol praticed today.


  20. Aaron-
    That is just flat out wrong. Bynum’s numbers were not identical while Kobe was hurt last year. During that stretch of games Bynum was much less effective. His FG% plummeted to 41% while he shot an average of 7 more shots a game. However, in Bynum’s defense, he was a beast on the boards during that stretch. (Remember the 30 rebound game!) Offensively though….not so much. Kobe did much more for Bynum than he, or you it seems, are willing to admit.

    Bynum’s knees and attitude did more to slow him down than Kobe did, but I agree with you to a point. I just want to see Bynum back on the floor dominating the Eastern conference. I want to see what he can do with the team squarely on his back errr knees.


  21. Bynum started off the Denver series last spring like a house afire and then faded. He was a non-factor vs. OKC. When the Lakers needed him most , he was nowhere to be found.

    Because of his knees, he found it difficult to change ends of the floor and couldn’t react as a help defender. In simple terms, Bynum can’t run. It’s a simple game, but if you can’t run, it’s awfully hard to play.


  22. Formalhault…

    That’s great news! Any word on how they did in practice?


  23. Janis Carr of the OC Register reports that Pau practiced without pain and had much better lift than before sitting out. He’s a game-time decision for tomorrow.

    Nash was able to run but is way off in terms of conditioning. He is hoping for a return around Christmas.


  24. In games that Bynum and Kobe both played, Bynum shot 4% better overall when Kobe was on the floor. He shot 7.5% better at the rim when Kobe was on the floor. Also, of Bynum’s 300 assisted baskets, Kobe had one fifth of them (60). Just thought I’d try to dispel the myth that Bynum’s numbers “were identical” whether Kobe was on the floor or not. Nor were they “slightly better” with Kobe off the floor. Neither of those things are true. By the way, I did not include scoring stats because all of Bynum’s FGA stats were lower with Kobe in the game (which should be obvious). So, it’s not really fair to say Bynum scored more, even per 36 minutes, because that pretty much just reflects that he shot more when Kobe was on the bench (which, again, should be obvious). Like I said earlier, Bynum shot a lower percentage with Kobe out of the game. This isn’t arguable.

    As an aside, I think Bynum’s a fantastic player. I think many fans on this board soured on him due to reasons that had little to do with his production. The fact is, Bynum produced at an excellent level last season and was a key contributor to back to back championships. I’ll never forget him gutting his way through a meniscus tear in the 2010 playoffs, nor will I forget his work on the offensive glass in the game 7 against Boston. I wish fans would just let it go already. He got asked a question, he answered it honestly from his perspective and, furthermore, his answer wasn’t even that inflammatory when taken in context.


  25. “@SpearsNBAYahoo: .@Lakers Steve Nash eyeing return versus @Warriors on Saturday if practice goes well this week,sources tell Y! Sports.

    Posted this earlier but seems to be lost or awaiting moderation. Apparently practice went good w Pau back pain free and Nash feeling a bit of discomfort but getting close. They ran 5-0 scrimmages today and other drills.


  26. Back when Ariza was still with Lakers, Kobe, Gasol, and Ariza were simply too much for other teams. I remembered Ariza would came in for Kobe and the team’s performance hardly affected at all. The guy is agile and skillful. Then they traded Ariza away for MWP and the team went downhill ever since. Even though Lakers still managed to win one trophy with a struggling MWP, they never went back to the final after that. Bynum was decent, but nothing special.


  27. What I think Bynum wanted to say was I really wanted to be the #1 option and I can’t be that as long as I played with Kobe. Kobe understands that sentiment. But there are huge differences. Bynum has never been and still hasn’t proved he’s a superstar. It was pretty clear by Kobe’s sophmore season he was a star and a superstar by his 4th season. Bynum on the other hand took about 3 seasons to realize he was a legitimate nba player let alone a franchise player. He started to show he was good but couldn’t stay healthy until last season.

    I’ve always been a Bynum fan but let’s not forget last year he couldn’t handle being double teamed and didn’t know how to pass out of the double. To his credit, he improved throughout the season. But if Bynum really thinks Kobe stunted his growth then he’s crazy. So I really hope Bynum really just wanted to say he wanted to be the man and not that it’s Kobe’s fault he isn’t a superstar.

    That’s my two cents on old news and I hope the lakers can get back to .500 on Christmas Day.


  28. This is courtesy of Ric Bucher via twitter – sums up perfectly my feelings on MDA and the offense. Lots of revisionist history going on from commentators (Charles – “they gotta play faster/They need to play slower”) and just assorted idiotic stuff from Magic – but this sorta cuts thru it all. I don’t always agree with Bucher – but this take is pretty level headed. Feel free to check out the suns rosters from 04-09 as well – apart from Barbosa, Marion, and Stoudemire (who is basically dwight w a jump shot on offense) there were no athletes really on those teams (plus Suns had no stoudemire in 06 and woulda handled Miami a lot better than Dallas in the finals). Its a system built on tempo, spacing, energy – and finding the best shot. That might be a wide open 3 with 20 secs on the clock – or it might be a kobe iso 3-2-1 buzzer beater. Its not predicted necessarily on having awesome athletes – all guys have to do is just get to the right spots on the floor and move the ball via passing – which is far faster than running ever will be. And hey – none of that takes away in any way from playing defense.

    Ric Bucher ?@RicBucher

    Mike D’Antoni might’ve sounded defensive, but he makes a salient point: if Pau Gasol is in the post, then Dwight

    “Mike D’Antoni might’ve sounded defensive, but he makes a salient point: if Pau Gasol is in the post, then Dwight

    Howard isn’t. And since when did Howard ever pose a threat 15 feet or more away from the rim? The basketball minds that have suggested Pau should be in the post more know this. So why focus on that? My guess: It is the easiest way to keep alive the inference that Phil Jackson would be making more out of this team. And maybe he would; but that battle is already over and keeping it fresh certainly isn’t doing any good. Why would anyone with the organization’s best interests make a concerted effort to foment unrest? Although almost anything is possible in Lakerland, I can’t see them changing coaches again before Steve Nash returns. And while I might have said it before, I’ll say it again: trashing D’Antoni’s system with both PG Steves (Nash and Blake) out is like blaming a race-car driver for not passing the competition when he doesn’t have a steering wheel. Kobe Bryant is being asked to be Nash and while he is many things, a pass-first PG is not one. The inference that the Triangle would work with Pau and Dwight conveniently forgets that it didn’t with Pau and Bynum — another non-threat away from the basket — at least not at a championship level. True, it did work well enough with Pau in the post to win a title three years ago, but that was with heavy doses of Lamar Odom as the other big man at the high post. There is no version of LO on the roster anymore. And never mind that Nash wouldn’t be as effective in the Triangle — have we also forgotten what he looked like under Terry Porter in Phoenix in that walk-it-up system? As for the Lakers being too old to play an up-tempo offense, well, Nash has been old for a while and still has led running attacks just fine — with equally old or less-than-swift teammates. The Suns’ 54-win team in ’09-10 relied on an already gimpy-kneed Amare Stoudemire, 37-year-old Grant Hill, 29-year-old Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley, Channing Frye and Robin Lopez. Is there clearly more athleticism in that group than DH, Pau, Kobe, Metta, Devin Ebanks, Jodie Meeks or Darius Morris? And, yes, I know Nash is several years’ older, but so is Jason Kidd and he still seems to inspire transition baskets. Let’s just be clear: the debate over what system would best suit the Lakers isn’t about basketball or doing what’s best for the Lakers right now. It’s about politics. The opposition doesn’t like the guy in office. Quickest way to get him out is to inspire a revolt.”


  29. Hey just wondering if anyone is noticing how Durant is helping Ibaka develop his offensive game yet still scoring at a very high level. LeBron also seems to be quite capable of doing this with his teammates. No neither has five rings, but than again neither played with the most dominate player in his peak and/or played for one of the best NBA coaches ever (someone else who had issues with Kobe “doing it his way”).

    Overall, what Kobe has accomplished as a Laker is simply awesome. The question is, where does he and the Lakers go from here? Personally, I’d rather see the Lakers hoist their 17th championship (and Kobe’s 6th) than see Kobe become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

    Just curious: will anyone feel differently about Bynum’s comments on Kobe once he becomes a 20-10-3 (blk) player? Just wondering.


  30. The thing about Bynum, while his numbers were not horrible, he underperformed. The guy lacks that heart and desire. He also is very inconsistent. He can be great the one night, but then do absolutely nothing the next. Howard is far more consistent and more dominant, despiute his bad free throw shooting. Bynum needs to hush.


  31. BigCitySid-
    Who did Lebron turn into an all world player? Stats show that Bynum played better *with* Kobe than without him. If Bynum becomes a 20/10/3 player by himself on his own team, then I will cheer him from afar for his hard work. As many people have said previously (but you seem to ignore for some reason….) Shaq had difficulties with Penny, Kobe, Lebron, and Nash. In fact, Shaq didn’t leave a single team under good terms.

    Of course, we would all love to see the Lakers hoist their 17th championship. That’s a given, but most rational Lakers fans won’t put all the blame on Kobe if we don’t get there. There are many other problems that this team has. Age, athletic ability, speed, injuries, bench play and coaching are all among this team’s issues. Now throw in Kobe’s propensity to take over games when it appears to him that no one else is playing hard. And his relaxed/lazy defense, as of late….

    What irritates me is that there are so many Laker fans that, when the Lakers win, will do absolutely everything that they can to take away from Kobe’s contribution and therefore his achievement. However, when the Lakers fail….then those same fans will jump on him for being the sole reason that the team lost. It’s hypocrisy and it’s ridiculous on it’s face, but some do it. We see enough of that from some media and other fans- let’s not do it ourselves.

    I do realize that for you, and some others, that Kobe will never get it right. That he is just not your “type” of player. He isn’t Magic or Kareem and he doesn’t play the game the “right” way, or at least what *you* think is the right way….


  32. Good post KenOak. “Playing the game the right way”: Everyone knows how I feel about Kobe. However – yes – he is not and never will be Magic (are we still talking about this 17 years later?). That said – if you miss the 80’s, which was a time when Magic and Bird (the ultimate team leader/players) ruled the league, then there is only one man to blame and that is MJ. He was just too good. Magic and Bird played the team game and that was what won titles. In comes MJ into the league and at first things were as they should be. Magic and Bird got the rings, and MJ got the oohs and ahs. However, then MJ just got too good. The trash talking, scowling, alpha male took over the league. So what happened? Kids on the playground stopped imitating Magic’s and Bird’s skills and starting trying to be like Mike. One of those kids was Kobe Bryant. The amazing thing is that millions of kids did those imitations and tried to be like Mike. However Kobe is the one who has ascended to the closest spot – currently – just beneath him. And I for one am not giving up on KB’s attempt to move up the ladder.


  33. “Just curious: will anyone feel differently about Bynum’s comments on Kobe once he becomes a 20-10-3 (blk) player? Just wondering.”

    Your constant presumptions and narrow-mindedness serve little purpose other than to embarrass yourself. But please, continue to tell us how Ibaka’s big night is an indictment of Kobe.


  34. I think others have accurately pointed out that what Bynum likely meant was that he wanted to be a #1 option, and Kobe “stunted” that because Kobe was always going to be the #1 option during Bynum’s time with the team.

    What Bynum likely doesn’t appreciate is how difficult it is for any big man to be a #1 option. Big guys depend on small guys to feed them the ball in the post. As we’ve seen from the last several years, that’s easier said than done, particularly if the smaller guys aren’t great shooters who require defenses to honor them out on the perimeter. There’s a simple reason why Andrew was more effective with Kobe on the floor: Kobe was the only Laker who commanded a double-team, removing two possible help defenders from the lane and opening things up for Drew. Maybe he’ll be surrounded by enough talent in Philly to become that guy, but with his health problems, and his poor motor (it wasn’t Kobe who “stunted” Andrew into not showing up for games 2 and 3 against Denver last year), and his weakness against the double team, I think Drew is a long ways from being a team’s #1 option.


  35. Via ESPN…

    There’s no question that Bynum has the talent to crash the superstar party, but playing alongside Bryant and Pau Gasol may have been his barrier to entry. Can Bynum be a franchise player without having to share the spotlight with those two?

    We actually know he can because he did it last season. Bynum spent about 20 percent of his playing time without both on the court in 2011-12 (384 minutes). How did he do in that time? To give you an idea, he posted a 23.2 PER in those 384 minutes. His overall PER? 23.1. Virtually identical.

    Now, it’s certainly the case that Bynum faced his fair share of second units in those minutes without Bryant and Gasol. But even if it wasn’t stiff competition, it also meant that they could throw multiple bodies at Bynum without worrying about leaving a star open. Bynum saw his touches skyrocket without Bryant and Gasol out there (his usage rate soared from 19.2 percent to 28.7 percent), but the key is whether Bynum could maintain a healthy shooting efficiency with the extra scoring burden.

    With the likes of Troy Murphy and Matt Barnes trying to dissuade defenders from creating a miniature flash mob in the paint, Bynum still shot 58.9 percent without Bryant and Gasol on the court, which is far better than his seasonal rate. His assisted rate plummeted from 73.4 percent to 56.4 percent, indicating that the dump-it-down-to-Bynum-in-the-post strategy happened a lot more (looking at the film confirmed there was a lot of this going on without Gasol and Bryant on the court). Still, Bynum flourished, not floundered, when he was forced to go it alone.


  36. Big City Sid….

    Ibaka is rapidly becoming one of the best power forwards in the league. It’s mainly due to his strong work ethic and the coaching he has received. He showed up as a raw talent who couldn’t hit a jumper. Now he is quite a reliable shooter and is becoming an excellent all around player. Durant didn’t make Ibaka, but I’m sure he enjoys playing with a player with Serge’s skillsets. Kobe would, too and I’m sure Bryant would welcome a player like that to the Lakers. Serge is better than all of the Laker frontcourt players not named Dwight.

    I guess that for those who like Kobe’s game, no rationale is needed. For those who don’t, no rationale is possible.


  37. Aaron, I think you identified the flaw in your own argument by pointing out that the minutes you are referring to (which is a relatively small sample size) were primarily against opppoents’ reserves. There are only a (small) handful of teams that have legitimate centers in their STARTING lineups, and virtually none with backup centers of note. That Bynum played harder in limited minutes when he was the focal point of the offense isn’t really surprising, but his results are not exactly inspiring.

    I like the guy as a player, but admittedly a lot less than I used to. He’s very skilled in a half court game when not double-teamed, but I just wonder how easy it is to get to superstar status when today’s NBA game is played at a faster pace than Bynum is comfortable with, his motor is not consistent, and he can’t be the #1 option and NOT face constant double teams. I’d like to see him succeed, but I’m still very dubious of him ever reaching the potential some of us thought he had. At this point, it would be a fantastic gamble to give him a max contract after this season, which maybe works to his advantage (as it will make him accessible to more, and better, teams) and could result in him playing with better teammates than he’d otherwise play with as a max contract guy….


  38. Bynum’s numbers were identical with Kobe on the floor and off last year ( a little more effective off) but not anything huge.
    Bynum spent about 20 percent of his playing time without both on the court in 2011-12 (384 minutes)
    Note, these two arguments are not the same. One references Kobe only, the other references both Kobe and Gasol. As I wrote earlier, when only looking at Bynum’s numbers when Kobe was off the floor, his numbers were not “identical” nor was he “a little more effective”. Haberstroh does make the case his numbers were better with both off the floor, however, as was quoted.


  39. KenOak is right, of course. In addition to being petty IMO, the “everything-goes-back-Kobe-shooting-too-much” argument is emotional, shoddy analysis.

    During the playoffs, Zach Lowe did a breakdown of how badly Bynum was getting beaten up and a down the floor and said it was hurting the Lakers badly. Games are won and lost for many reasons.


  40. Serge better than Gasol? I’m not buying it.

    Speaking of him, he’ll be starting tonight.

    He says he feels restored and explosive.

    I expect to see the Pau Dwight stagger time pre Gasol exodus, that we’ve been using to maximum efficiency.


  41. Once Bynum is back in form, and starts applying himself, he should be bowling at least a 260 average!