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Will the Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum Ever Grow Up? Fan’s View
On Tuesday, March 27, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors 104-101 and extended their lead in the Pacific Division to 2.5 games. Kobe Bryant finished with 30 points while Pau Gasol added 19 points and 17 rebounds.
I wish the main stories emanating from this Lakers victory were about Bryant's clutch performance late in the fourth quarter or Gasol's strong game in the paint. Instead, I'm left shaking my head over more immature behavior from Andrew Bynum.
The young center was benched after attempting a three-pointer with plenty of time left on the shot clock in the third quarter. It was yet another example of poor decision-making from Bynum in his Lakers career. Whether it's the flagrant foul that got him suspended during last year's NBA playoffs or his inability to give 100 percent in every game, Bynum continues to prove how immature he really is.
I appreciate how he's improved his game in the last few seasons. Bynum has developed a jump shot, and he has also increased his presence in the paint. However, the Lakers aren't paying him millions of dollars to attempt three-pointers. He's paid big money to dominate opposing front courts. His me-first attitude needs to change.
I'm not saying that I agree with head coach Mike Brown's decision to bench Bynum, but I do understand why he did it. Brown sent Bynum a message. If the young center isn't going to follow his coach's instructions and be a team player, then he's going to ride the bench. However, I'm not sure if Brown's discipline is going to have an effect on Bynum. Brown can't make him grow up. Instead, Bynum has to make that decision on his own, and at this point, I'm wondering if that is ever going to happen.
At age 24, Bynum is still young, but he's also in his seventh NBA season. He's no rookie. The time has come for Bynum to stop acting like a child and take his job seriously. He'll never reach his potential if he doesn't mature both as a person and as a basketball player.
Derek Ciapala has been a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers since childhood. His favorite Lakers' moment is when they beat the Detroit Pistons 108-105 in Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala.
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