O.C. Register: After every game, Kobe Bryant makes it look like he’s burrowing his feet in soft, relaxing sand during a day at the beach. After the Lakers’ game in Toronto this season, Andrew Bynum tried it.
Bryant is used to soaking his feet in postgame buckets of ice water to minimize inflammation from all the pounding. He’ll often chat comfortably with reporters while his feet are submerged in icy water. Yet when Bynum tried to do that in Toronto in late January, he became a cartoon.
There was shivering, teeth chattering and overwhelmed gasping. There very well could have been icicles hanging from his ears, too.
But this was the season that Bynum vowed to get more professional and maintain his body better. On Sunday after Game 1 against Utah, Bynum sat there unflappably with those feet once reserved only for UGG fleecy slippers now chillin’ in the ice water. On Tuesday in Game 2, we saw a more distinct people-can-change inspiration from him.
Many were surprised by the way Bynum started this postseason so strong despite coming off that strained left Achilles’ tendon. Many are shocked that he is giving the Lakers so much now that he has torn cartilage in a right knee that needs surgical repair.
The frame remains predisposed to knee injury – the wide pelvis and knock-kneed frame are here to stay – but the spirit inside the brittle body has changed.