Will Andrew Bynum’s Immaturity Prevent Him From Being A Superstar?
Andrew Bynum is finally reaching his potential as an NBA center. At 24 years of age, his tools are rounding into form and he’s become arguably the best center in the league aside from Dwight Howard. His 2011-2012 campaign is easily his best as he’s posted career highs of 18 points per game and 12 rebounds. He’s most certainly the future of the NBA.
But there’s one problem…
His maturity level just isn’t up to par. It’s debatable as to whether or not he’ll ever reach that level. Strangely enough, the better he gets athletically, the worse he becomes mentally. This season has showcased a side of Bynum that is overly arrogant and could become a cancer if it isn’t treated in its early stages. On March 27th he thought he had all of a sudden become a 3-point threat and chucked an ill-advised triple against the Golden State Warriors. The shot caused Laker coach Mike Brown to react accordingly and bench Bynum. While that wasn’t too much of a big deal, it was Bynum’s comments to press afterwards that got everyone’s attention.
“I guess, ‘Don’t take 3s’ is the message, but I’m going to take another one and I’m going to take some more, so I just hope it’s not the same result,” Bynum said. “Hopefully I make it.”
We all know that Mike Brown isn’t the guy that’s going to be able to wrangle in egotistical players like Bynum. But something has to be done with Bynum’s growing ego. It’s like a glow you can literally see as he becomes better. It has only gotten worse as Bynum again showed his colors against the New Orleans Hornets on March 31st. This time he was spotted being totally uninterested in team huddles and was called out by the media for it. The LA Times reported his response when asked why he doesn’t participate and this is what he had to say.
“I don’t know,” Bynum said with his characteristic cavalier attitude. “I don’t take part in the huddles.”
Another reporter reacted with disbelief, asking why not.
“I’m resting,” Bynum said. “Getting my Zen on.”
Yeah, he’s too busy practicing his imaginary 3-pointers.
This is truly getting out of control. But Bynum isn’t quite finished with his level of disinterest in anything but himself. In an important tilt against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 4th, the Laker center had a huge game with 36 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks to help the Lake show earn a 113-108 victory. But lost in the shuffle by most is Bynum’s reaction when his teammate Pau Gasol was viciously dunked on by Blake Griffin. While it is okay for anyone watching at home to show their “Holy Sh*t” face when Blake Griffin glides towards the rim, it shouldn’t draw a similar reaction by a teammate.
Wait until the rest of the team sees this.
At this point you have to wonder if Bynum and his attitude will cost him an opportunity to become a true superstar in the league. If he doesn’t shape up, don’t be shocked if the Lakers trade him. Attitudes like this will not be tolerated in the long run. You can count on that.