As most players traded by the Los Angeles Lakers tend to do, Andrew Bynum had a few choice words regarding playing with Kobe Bryant over the last seven years before being dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers this summer. Bynum’s comments weren’t particularly harsh or overly critical of Kobe, but the up-and-coming center does believe playing with Kobe may have held him back in terms of stunting his growth as a players.
Along with taking the jab at Kobe for possibly holding him back over the years, Bynum also sent a message to Dwight Howard claiming that the three-time Defensive Player of the Year will also have to take a step back in Los Angeles via Kevin Ding of the OC Register:
“Obviously the talent is there to win a championship — from the starters’ point of view anyway,” Bynum said.
Bynum also said: “Dwight’s a great player, but he’s going to have to get accustomed to playing with Kobe (Bryant) and not touching the ball every single play.”
There’s no question that Kobe is a different breed. The five-time NBA champion has a motor that is seldom seen in the NBA in terms of being able to sustain a high level of play on the basketball for 17 years and counting. Kobe’s work ethic and determination is unmatched in the NBA today and that will likely continue until he finally decides to call it a career after next season or in the near future.
With the Lakers currently three games below .500 with a record of 11-14 while Kobe leads the league in scoring with 29.0 points per game, Howard’s frustration must be starting to hit a boiling point with the team failing to live up to the extremely high expectations after acquiring the superstar center and Steve Nash in the off-season.
Obviously, with 57 games left to be played after the Lakers were able to get the best of the 76ers on Sunday night in Philadelphia, anything can happen from here on out with the team potentially experiencing a drastic turnaround with the return of Nash in the coming weeks, but the tension in the Lakers locker room may start to build if the slide continues and Howard isn’t seeing the ball as much as he was accustomed to with the Orlando Magic.