SI.com: It took Andrew Bynum 17 years to become a wanted NBA commodity; it took 24 seconds to become a punch line. That’s all Kobe Bryant needed to tell a couple of amateur video makers in a shopping center parking lot that the Lakers should “ship out” their young center if it would bring someone such as Jason Kidd in return.
But one month into 2007-08 season, it appears general manager Mitch Kupchak, in refusing to part with Bynum for Kidd at last season’s trade deadline, may not have been as incompetent as Bryant suggested he was in the same video.
In his third NBA season, Bynum, who turned 20 in October, is more than holding his own against men a decade older. Following Tuesday’s victory against the Sonics, Bynum was averaging 11.1 points on 58.5 percent shooting, 10.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game.
“You don’t really know what to do when you hear something like that,” Bynum said of Bryant’s barbs and being mentioned in trade rumors. “I was in kind of a messed-up situation, being only 19 years old. It makes you feel good that other people want you, but it also makes you feel good that the Lakers didn’t pull the trigger.
“I understand [Kobe’s comments] were just coming out of frustration, because nobody wants to win more,” Bynum added during a telephone interview. “We talked about the situation and everything is buried in the dirt, so everything is cool right now. [But] it motivated me to work hard over the summer with my personal trainer, and right now I’m approaching games with a lot of energy.”