Though obviously happy to earn his first All-Star berth, Lakers’ center Andrew Bynum is honest enough to admit that it helps that he doesn’t have all that much competition at his position in the Western Conference. From the LA Times: “Lakers center Andrew Bynum was handling his newly minted All-Star status with a touch of humility, pride and, yes, some kid-like joy. His ascent was more like a one-sided political election — so the official announcement on TNT later Thursday afternoon was a mere formality. Bynum had pulled in more than a million votes, and his closest challenger, the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, was well back at 322,056. ‘I always wanted to be an All-Star,’ said the 24-year-old Bynum, who is averaging 16.5 points and 12.1 rebounds, both career highs. ‘I said that, like, six years ago. It took a long time. … Attrition [helped] a little bit. There’s nobody there. No Yao [Ming].’ Said teammate Pau Gasol: ‘He’s got the mind-set now. He’s a little more mature as a player and he understands the game better. He knows where he can be more effective and he’s healthier. So that helps.’ A healthy and sleeker-looking Bynum has taken advantage of the changed circumstances in the Lakers’ world. ‘I’m just in a different system,’ he said. ‘I’m getting the ball a lot more, obviously without [Lamar] Odom here, I get more minutes. So the numbers go up.’”