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Friday, March 16th, 2012 at 10:40 am  |  44 responses

Andrew Bynum: Relationship With Kobe Bryant ‘Much Better Than in the Past’


As Andrew Bynum evolves into a truly dominant big man this season, the 24-year old says that his relationship with Kobe Bryant (someone who as a teammate is, um, demanding) has improved greatly over time. From ESPN Radio (via SRI): “On the relationship between him and Kobe Bryant: ‘Yeah man we definitely have a much better relationship than in the past. Obviously on the court the trust is there and he has been telling me a few things, little footwork tricks and stuff like they can’t stop me, giving me confidence. I’ve been working a lot with guys like him on my footwork and just going to work. Just going out there playing and having fun that’s the biggest part.’ What their relationship used to be like: ‘The guy wants to win so you always have issues with him if you’re playing poorly or subpar. Other than that I think I’m a guy who can help this team win when I go out and play dominant and not have much of an issue.’ […] On his future in Los Angeles and how tough it was to deal with trade rumors: ‘I definitely feel like I’m going to be a Laker for a long period of time. They had an opportunity to trade me earlier and didn’t do it. They wanted me to develop and that’s what I’m realizing now and trying to go get. Trade rumors don’t really affect me. I’ve been in every one that has come up so far and the Lakers always hold on to me. For that I give the gratitude and I’m going out there showing on the court that they made the right decision.’ On where the team is headed: ‘This team is definitely trying to head to that number two or number one spot. We can definitely catch up to San Antonio, we play them three times, and we have played them yet so each and every game that we play against them is going to be huge and we’re looking forward to that. I think our focus is there and we understand where we are offensively and then defensively it’s about playing hard so that’s just it.’”

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  • Jer Dawg

    Cool. I’m glad to know Kobe isn’t the biggest asshole on the block anymore.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    He is your friend as long as you don’t take more shots than him.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Jer Dawg I think he is still the biggest a$$hole but he seems to lighten up win you’re playing well and it translates to wins. Go figure.

  • tomtom

    People compare Kobe and MJ a lot, the biggest comparison imo is probably the unashamed and relentless way that they demand the best from everyone around them.

  • KH10

    Love how 17 and 12 is “dominant” these days, Mount Mutombo averaged those numbers in his rookie season.

  • http://juan.garcia@computershare.com NBA Head

    Nubers are for baseball (yawn) fans. In basketball my eyes tell me KB is the second best perimeter player of all time. Forget numbers and accomplishments… I’m talking strictly basketball skills combined with the will to win.

  • Kadavour

    The game is changing. Big men have to be more skilled and versatile.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    You must have cataracts in those eyes.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    i.e. he doesn’t put me on blast in the parking lot anymore when people are filming

  • riggs

    I still dont think bynum is a good center.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    wow, he’s still only 24?

  • http://slamonline.com badnewsballer

    @riggs- your probably one of those guys who would still prefer Greg Oden huh?

  • abaci

    Kobe doesnt want friends he wants really good players. I think he is a tool and a jerk. But to me that doesn’t take anything away from how great he is on the court. I think Bird summed it up pretty well “It would have probably been more fun to play with LeBron, but if you want to win and win and win, it’s Kobe.”

  • CyberCosmiX

    Bottom line, if you can help Kobe win, he’s cool with you. With Kobe it’s all about the win, it’s nothing personal.

  • Marc

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. just saying

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    KH10. No Mutombo didn’t average his numbers rookie year. Bynum is going to finish the year at 18PPG and nearly 13 boards. Deke had 16,12. He never scored more than that for the rest of his career. Actually dropped significantly pretty much every year. Deke is twice the enforcer defensively that Bynum is, but he is half the player offensively.
    ~
    riggs, any facts to go along with that? Or just pure hate goggles on?

  • jake

    Bynum is a beast! He just will probably never come close to being on the same level as other laker centers.

  • Paul H

    @KH10, just because Drew Is averaging “only” 17 does not mean he Is not capable of MUCH more. In the right system, were he Is the undisputed number one option, kid has 25 point scorer written all over him.

  • El_Black_Mamba

    Co-sign Paul H… If Bynum was the 1st option or didn’t play with Kobe he would be a 25 and 13 guy!.. He’s only gonna get better homie is only 24!!

  • Dungeon Family

    Good to see Kobe’s Biggest Undercover fan @JTaylor21 so eager to Leave a comment whenever he sees Kobe’s name.

  • Drig

    Uuh……no. If Bynum does exert enough effort to get those 25 points, he’d be dead on the other side IF he’s the first option with teams gearing towards him ala Howard. Dead on D = Not a good C.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Riggs, the crickets are chirping. Hater goggles I will assume then.

  • Paul H

    @Drig, ‘Drew has been averaging 22 and 13 on 63% shooting (to go along with 2 blocks) over his last ten, I have complete and absolute faith that he could sustain that production and better It over a full season. Dude scores at will on the block. Now that Ramon Sessions Is on board I actually expect his production to increase. At least Kobe has finally realized the absolute gift of a basketball player he has on his team every night.

  • Drig

    Paul, maybe you’re mistaken about what I said. Bynum cannot do it ONCE HE BECOMES the main option – which is probably by all accounts after or during Kobe’s last season. And I don’t see that changing esp. since by that time Pau-Kobe are obviously not going to be on the team and I don’t see LA realistically having any chance of getting a stud in the draft this year in the 2nd round as well. So, no.

  • smoove

    its only because hes not gettin injured left and right anymore…soon as he does which in turn interferes with kobe and his chip,,hell be back in the dogg house

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    Drew is quite lazy on defense. Notice how he casually jogs back on D after missed shots and doesn’t protect the rim the way he should.

    Andrew should just embrace a “no layup policy” but he is too lazy to do that.

    But I guess that’s okay as long as he scores. And he should also rebound the ball more. For a guy his size, he doesn’t rebound enough. (Rodman, Barkley or even Kevin Love anyone?)

  • Paul H

    Rodman was one of the greatest rebounders ever to play the game, Charles only had two seasons his entire career were he rebounded the ball better than Drew’s rate this season and Kevin Love Is a freak of nature. His 12.9 boards a game match Tim Duncan’s career high actually. I’ll give you the D thing tho, sometimes he goes through periods were he just seems uninterested on that end….

  • http://slamonline Brion

    berkamoore. He’s third in the L in rebounding… Quite lazily on defense he blocks as many shots as Dwight. If your trying to say he has room to improve. Your right. If your saying he’s not the second best Center in the L. Your wrong. I like how you compare Bynum to all time great rebounders(too which he comes up a little short) and say he needs to rebound more. GTFOH

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^Sorry Brion. That was me^

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    Brion,

    You are actually proving my point. Apart from Dwight and Bynum, how many real centers do you have in the League today?

    Bynum should dominate. I mean how doesn’t he grab like 20 boards a night when he goes against the likes of DeAndre Jordan(whom I actually like)?

    And if you compare him to Dwight, I laugh. Why? Because Bynum is TALLER than Dwight. So maybe he should do more, especially on defense.

    I mean guys like Morning, Mutombo, Dream, Rodman (I know he wasn’t a center) or even Bill Russell were shorter than Drew and did A LOT MORE on defense.

    But if you are a fan, so be it. LOL.

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    Correction:

    Mutombo is about the same height as Bynum, not shorter.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    berkamoor, Whats your point. No one has grabbed 20 boards a game since Wilt and Russel were in the L. Your expectations are unrealistic and stupid. If your trying to say centers during the 90′s were better, no one is going to argue…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Mutombo was taller than Bynum. By 1 or 2 inches.

  • jimmer

    Whoa Whoa Whoa, Paul H my old son, I have to stick up for Sir Charles here. Barkley was 6’5 and averaged 11.2 (or 11.5?) on his career. I do not honestly think Andrew Bynum will finish his career with that rebounding average, and he’s 7 inches taller. And Rodman contibuted about two funky layups a week on offense. I’m sure if Charles never had to score a point, he could’ve avergaed 15 or 16 a night, easily.

  • Paul H

    Oh mate I wasn’t saying Charles wasn’t amazing, he was AMAZING. I was simply illustrating how impressive ‘Drew’s rate has been In comparison to one of greatest ever. As Lakeshow said, stating that Drew should be rebounding more by saying he Is not as good as some of the greatest rebounders ever Is ridiculous! It’s like saying “Kevin Durant can score but come on MJ was better”.

  • http://www.twitter.com/flavaklav Klav

    people like berkamore bug the sh!t out of me when it comes to their logic. so because Bynum is “taller” than Dwight he should be getting more boards? its like he completely neglects something called “athleticism.” both DeAndre and Dwight are more athletic than Bynum. and with this kind of logic Shawn Bradley should’ve got 25 boards a night and done more defensively than Bill, Rodman, Bynum, Dwight and whoever the hell else. Dwight is like what, an inch shorter than Bynum? he also just happens to possess the best combination of athleticism and strength for a center. people these days don’t even make sense.

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    LakeShow,

    You can make your points without name calling. Somehow, it makes the other person more willing to listen and exchange, just a thought.

    My point, if I have to say it again it, is that Bynum is playing against subpar competition and not really taking advantage of it.

    And by the way, Rodman grabbed almost 19 boards a game in the 1991-1992 season. Not quite 20, I grant you that but again, Rodman was like 6-8.(And that’s generous). So maybe a 7-0 center could be expected to grab 20 boards a game.

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    @ Klav,

    Don’t make me laugh, rebounding (esp. defensive rebounding) is more about positioning than athleticism. Guys like Moses Malone (or even Larry Bird, good rebounder for a small forward) were great rebounders because they knew how to position themselves.

    Rebounding is also about strength (boxing out and holding position) and mobility (getting to the ball).

    You can see why your boy Shawn Bradley was having problems.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Don’t recall name calling… But anyway this convo is over. You think Bynum should be averaging 20 boards a game. There is zero logic in that.

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    @ LakeShow

    “Your expectations are unrealistic and stupid.” Are those not your words?

    Anyway, Rodman averaged almost 19 boards a game in 1991-1992 and he is generously listed at 6-8 and you don’t think that Bynum, who is a 7-0, could average 20 boards a game?

    You are right, there is zero logic in that.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yes that is a fact that I said. I didn’t call you any names. You said that someone “should” be doing something that no one has done for several decades. So DeAndre Jordan should’ be averaging 20 boards right? Same with K-Love? Roy Hibbert? Nene? Brook Lopez? DMC? Why are these lofty exceptions placed upon a one time All Star in Bynum. Makes zero sense. Whats your point? What are you trying to get at. The facts are that Bynum is a great rebounder. He is also the 2nd best center in the L. If you expect more, that’s fine. I don’t expect a reincarnated Wilt Chamberlain in every player over 7 feet though…

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    Well, we agree to disagree. And quite frankly, I don’t expect Bynum to do more, I am saying he COULD do more. Then again, he is more likely to hear opinions like yours than mine so….

    But it’s a very simple test. When you look a at guy or he a guy looks at himself, can it be said that the guy couldn’t have been a better player?

    There a few guys who can honestly say so. A guy like Kobe (or Derek Fisher for that matter) maximized everything he’s got. (And I am not even a Kobe fan but I respect him). Not everybody can say the same thing.

  • al

    clowns…^

  • Eli Porter

    lol if he was a first option why would his rebounds go up?

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