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.’”