With Andrew Bynum beginning to emerge as an elite center in the NBA this season, it’s hard to exactly pin the person who is most deserving of credit for Bynum’s transformation from perennial injury concern to bonafide all-star.
Is it Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who helped develop Bynum’s big-man repertoire during his time as a special assistant coach for the Lakers?
Is it Bynum himself, finally maturing both physically and mentally after his Game 4 catastrophe in the Dallas series last year that saw him exiting American Airlines Arena shirtless?
Of course not.
Is it Mike Brown, whose reliance upon Bynum in his offensive system is finally giving the Laker big opportunities?
Not a chance.
All credit should go to former Laker and current Golden State Warrior Kwame Brown. At least that’s the way Kwame tells it.
From Kwame Brown’s 2 1/2 years with the Purple and Gold, Kwame insists that his career averages of 7/6 played an influential role in developing the young Laker big. From Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times:
“[Bynum] was my young fella,” Brown said. “I taught him everything he knows.”
“I’m one of the better defenders in the league and we played against each other every day in practice,” Brown said. “I told him if you can score against me, you can score on anyone.”
With Kwame on his sixth team in 11 years, it’s difficult for Laker fans to believe that Bynum’s current success as the second option on this current Lakers squard is in anyway related to the center that once told Kobe Bryant not to pass to him in big moments. But while Laker fans continue to doubt the teaching greatness of Kwame Brown, he’ll be quietly proving critics wrong once he transforms David Lee into the next George Mikan. Or not.