In a question-and-answer session Lakers center Andrew Bynum touched on a variety of topics concerning next season, the lockout, and what the team needs to do to rebound from their embarrassing playoff exit at the hands of the eventual NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.
Bynum, who’s 2011 season ended in bitter fashion after being ejected in Game 4 against Dallas following a vicious hit on Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, has said he’s ready to focus on winning, and that the Lakers need to do the same.
While Bynum eventually apologized for his unprofessional behavior in Game 4, that is still the last image the fans have of Bynum on the court. In fact, he will miss the first five games of next season (whenever that may be) as punishment for his actions.
Bynum has not been heard from publicly since apologizing for the incident, but the young center is reportedly working hard to come back stronger than ever next season.
“We got embarrassed and we all need to come back focused, ready to win. You lose 4-0, there’s not much more to be said. I was the first one to admit we didn’t work hard enough to win.”
Bynum has been working out with boxing trainer Freddie Roach, who is one of the most recognizable trainers on the planet, and has worked with star fighters such as Manny Pacquiao.
“Running stairs, swimming, upper-body weightlifting, track work,” said Bynum. “Because of my knees, I’m keeping pressure off them rather than loading up the squat rack with weights.”
This is certainly an encouraging sign for the Lakers, as Bynum is certainly viewed as one of their key core members. In the past he has been ridiculed for not taking training too seriously, but that appears to be a reputation that Bynum is looking to shed this summer.
“I want to be the best player I can be. Having some successes, but not having them talked about, or having them overshadowed by other things. I’m past that. It’s all about winning championships. Working hard is the most important thing.”
For a franchise, and a fan-base, that focuses on winning these are certainly positive words coming from Bynum.
Bynum also discussed a myriad of other topics, but refused to comment on speculation that he parked in a handicapped spot at a grocery store earlier this summer. He also discussed the possibility of playing overseas if the lockout extends too far into the scheduled regular season.
For the complete interview transcripts check out the L.A. Times.