O.C. Register: Lakers coach Phil Jackson was correct. Andrew Bynum and Greg Oden have met before on the basketball court.
But the Zen Master got the dates mixed up.
Jackson said he thought Lakers center Bynum had played against the Portland Trail Blazers rookie center Oden in the McDonald’s All-American game when the two were high school seniors. But that would have been impossible because Bynum graduated from St. Joseph’s in Metuchen, N.J., in 2005, bypassing college to go directly to the NBA.
Oden, who looks much older but actually is three months younger than Bynum, 21, graduated from Lawrence North in Indianapolis in 2006.
Oden’s was the first high school class affected by the NBA rule that required graduates to wait at least a year before being declared eligible for the NBA draft. So he spent one year at Ohio State before being drafted first overall in 2007 by the Trail Blazers.
Microfracture knee surgery forced Oden to miss the entire 2007-08 season, so Tuesday’s opening-night game at Staples Center between the Lakers and Trail Blazers will be their first meeting since …
”Sixth grade in AAU,” said Bynum, who recalled that although they both are listed as 7-footers now, Bynum recalls Oden being 4 inches taller back in the day. The mature-looking Oden, who was sporting facial hair as a college freshman, wasn’t shaving back then, though.