The Case for Keeping Andrew Bynum Over Dwight Howard

Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard are both seven footers who were drafted into the NBA straight out of high school. Ninety-eight percent of you reading this sentence either furthered their education or entered the work force after receiving their diplomas,  either way you weren’t signing a contract worth millions of dollars to play basketball for a living.

Julius Caesar once said famously said that experience is the teacher of all things. Well seeing as us fans and the players have accumulated much different life experiences it’s difficult for us to put ourselves into the shoes of Howard or Bynum; needless to say their shoes would be way too big for our feet even if they offered us a chance to step into them.

Allow me to take you back to the summer of 2004, when Latrell Sprewell was offered a contract renewal worth between $27-30 million, and Sprewell scoffed at the offer stating that “I got a family to feed.”

Down-right ludicrous. I guess that’s what happens when you’re handed too much fame and power at such a young age, it becomes abused. Absolute power, corrupts absolutely as they say.

Dwight Howard’s negotiation saga, or “Dwama” as my editor-in-chief refers to it when he tweets, is the latest example of power being mishandled.

I am so tired of waking up to read about Dwight Howard this and Dwight Howard that. Everyone else must realize that by opting into another year in Orlando during the trade deadline that he brought this upon himself right? If he had played his cards right, he would’ve had the free will to sign with the Brooklyn Nets this summer.

But instead he’s forced the Nets to explore every single trade option for him with every single team besides the Monstars from Space Jam. Instead of quietly signing his contract like Kevin Durant did in the summer of 2010, Howard has followed in the footsteps of LeBron James and glorified a simple process of putting pen to paper.

It certainly puts into question if Howard really wants to go to Brooklyn to win with Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, or just to be a part of the inaugural season of basketball in the borough. If he wants to win, it certainly seems foolish that he’s coercing teams to gut their entire roster just to land him.

Before the Nets effectively ended trade talks with the Magic, they had planned to ship Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a cart full of future first round picks away.

Did I also forget to mention the Magic had fired their general manager and their head coach in an attempt to appease the eight-year-veteran.

In short, Dwight Howard is being a “Dwama” Queen.

It’s for this reason that I hope he gets traded to anywhere but Brookyln (his desired location), and I genuinely hope I never live to see the day he puts on the prestigious purple and gold Laker uniform.

I mean, how many times does the guy have to say he doesn’t want to be a Laker before Mitch Kuphak makes the same decision that the Nets’ front office did: come to the realization that Howard isn’t worth it and move on.

Let’s take a look at the Laker roster for a second. Every time a Laker supporter advocates trading for Howard, I point out that the Lakers already have Andrew Bynum on their roster.

Is Dwight Howard really that big on an upgrade over Bynum?

ESPN’s Arash Markazi wrote a couple days ago that while Dwight Howard’s stats are marginally better than Bynum’s, Howard is also required to carry a heavier load of his team’s responsibilities on his back, which might explain his injury.

Bad jokes aside, I can’t help but agree with Mr. Markazi. The club just acquired Steve Nash, the point guard who made Amar’e Stoudemire look like a Hall of Famer and Marcin Gortat look like a borderline All-Star, imagine what he can do for Bynum (who is also coming off the best season of his career, but who’s counting)

If the Lakers do pull the plug on the Dwight Howard deal, he will have a year to gel with the trio of Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Sure, a championship becomes about five percent more likely than if Bynum is the starting center, but think about the future. Bynum has never pouted about being a Laker, not even when Kobe publicly lauded to ship him out for Jason Kidd in his infamous parking lot rant; yet Howard is complaining about being a Laker before even being on the team.

That spells an exit once Howard becomes a free agent in the summer of 2013 to me.

We should all take a second to appreciate Bynum for how far he’s come as a player instead of putting his career under a perpetual microscope of how much better he can be.


I was watching Game 3 of the second round matchup between the Mavericks and the Lakers last fall with my  friend Kenneth, when Bynum deflected the pass intended for Dirk, then took it coast to coast for a two-handed flush.

I jumped up and told my friend “that’s the future of the Lakers, baby.”

He dismissed my remark, mainly because he’s bitter that as a San Antonio Spurs fan he won’t have a superstar like Bynum to cheer for in a couple more years, but he also didn’t think Bynum had what it takes to be a franchise player.

I obviously disagreed with him being the homer that I am.

There’s something special about seeing the Lakers draft a player, develop him and watch him blossom into a superstar. (see: Johnson, Earvin)

It’s time to accept the Kobe era is on its last legs, and it’d be a damn shame if we gave up on the Andrew Bynum era before it even got a chance.

I may not to be able to relate to either Bynum or Howard’s problems as young adults who are really tall and have a lot of money. But I sure can support Bynum’s decisions more than Howard’s.

Bynum has been labelled immature for his actions over the years that include: being spotted at the Playboy mansion when he was supposed to be recuperating from a knee injury and parking in a handicap spot and delaying knee surgery to attend the World Cup of soccer.

When it boils down, if anyone of us were to live the life of a NBA player for just a day, we’d all surely commit similar mistakes to the ones Bynum made (you can’t tell me you’ve never parked in a handicap spot when you were in a rush, or at least thought about it) but the circus revolving Dwight Howard right now is entirely avoidable and self-created.


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