To me this is where Andrew Bynum should take heed. Every loudmouth with a microphone has had an opinion on the injury plagued beginning to Drew’s career. What he was, what he is and what he will be. Some argue Bynum has already shown us the peak of his abilities. Trade him now while he still has value, they say. Others bemoan that his history of injuries virtually guarantees that the potential we all see in him will never be realized. That in five years time we will all remember him as just another Sam Bowie.
But the truth is none of our expectations, our desires, our hopes or fears, none of them really matter when it comes down to defining who Andrew Bynum is. Sure, as NBA players go, he’s had his share of misfortunes so. But who hasn’t?
Just like Hill in the end Bynum, at least in my mind, will have a career defined by how he dealt with adversity. It may just be that Bynum’s most recent knee injury won’t be his last. It may be he never puts it together the way all Lakers fans are hoping for. Or perhaps he leaves the injuries behind him and joins the pantheon of great Lakers centers. But the outcome isn’t nearly as important as we want it to be.
The measuring stick for Bynum shouldn’t be points or rebounds or blocked shots. It should be in his perseverance, his hard work and his dedication. Things that are hard to quantity, that perhaps only Bynum will know for certain in his own mind. But you know what, that’s enough. In the end, it has to be.
Because All-Star games come and go. Accolades and headlines in the press are as ethereal as the paper they’re written on. Even NBA Championships fade into memory after enough time has passed. But character, whether witnessed or not, is something that lasts forever. Grant Hill knows it. Frankly, it’s a lesson we could all learn.