Home > Sports > 6 May 2010 – Andrew Bynum (and his Haters) (or, why trade for Chris Bosh?!?)

6 May 2010 – Andrew Bynum (and his Haters) (or, why trade for Chris Bosh?!?)

Some Andrew Bynum-related scribbles for today:

  • Despite a painful partially-torn meniscus on his right knee, Andrew Bynum improved his performance from Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals series.
  • Granted, he’s matched up against a totally useless Kyrylo Fesenko, so you could argue that anyone would thrive with that kind of competition.
  • Despite playing through the discomfort, what do you get from some of these muppets who call themselves “Lakers fans” but more calls for Bynum’s head because he’s “injury-prone”?
  • I say these misguided, idiotic “Lakers fans” are all clueless; they don’t really understand basketball.  They think they do, but they really don’t.

I have to say that I’m one of the apparently few people who would declare themselves Andrew Bynum fans.  When I watch him, I can’t help but admire his ability to play with his back to the basket, his deft footwork, his sheer size and length, and his still-growing physical power.  He’s got excellent instincts, especially when you remember that the young guy didn’t really learn the game of basketball until he was about fifteen years old.  And he’s only twenty two right now!

Seven years playing the game, and he’s already the starting center for arguably pro basketball’s greatest franchise ever!

The mental midgets who accuse Bynum of being injury-prone conveniently forget that his first two big injuries to his knees were purely a result of accidents involving his teammates.  In 2008, Bynum dislocated his left kneecap when he accidentally landed on Lamar Odom’s foot on a rebound; the following year, Kobe Bryant fell onto Bynum’s right leg, which resulted in torn knee ligaments.  If someone else landed the same exact way on Lamar Odom’s foot, or if Kobe rolled into someone else’s leg the exact same way, don’t you think those people would have been injured the way Bynum was?

Insofar as those two specific injuries are concerned, which shortened those two NBA seasons for Bynum, Drew was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Accidents happen when you play sports; the only way to avoid getting those injuries is to not have been there at those specific times.

Luck was not Bynum’s friend as far as those two specific injuries are concerned.

This year’s litany of injuries (strained Achilles tendon, torn meniscus) is not as serious as his two big knee injuries cited above, so why the non-thinking idiot “fans” (I refuse to call them real fans because of my sheer intolerance for idiots) once again clamoring to trade Bynum for, say, Chris Bosh (who conveniently was at courtside during Game 2 against the Jazz) is incomprehensible from every angle.

For one thing, it’s swapping a good center for a good power forward.  In my book, centers are far more valuable than power forwards.  The Lakers actually have two very good ones already in the books; why pay for another one and lose a good center in the process?

Another consideration is that Bosh is going to be a free agent once this season is over.  So we can deduce some things quite easily at this point:

  1. He’s going to ask for a “max” contract.
  2. His current team, the Toronto Raptors, is not a big NBA market and will therefore have difficulties paying for Bosh’s services.
  3. Bosh has already indicated he wants to leave Toronto, refusing to sign a simple contract extension in the past.

In other words, Bosh will be a very expensive addition to any team that acquires his services.

Defensively speaking, I think Bosh is inferior simply because he’s smaller.  The Lakers are forever being tagged as being “soft.”  Why give away your only legitimate starting-caliber low-post defender for a smaller player who’s not as strong, not as long, not as heavy?

Now explain to me why Bosh would be attractive to the Lakers, short-term or even long-term?

Too expensive, for sure.  He’ll be more expensive than Bynum is on his contract, so in terms of value for money it’s very difficult to justify.  Will you tell Jerry Buss that YOU will pay Bosh’s max contract for him?  I didn’t think so.

Sure, Bosh has good statistics, but did you ever stop to think about WHY he’s got such good numbers?  He’s the number 1 option on his current team, so of course it’s only logical he’d have good stats next to his name.  Do you think he’d produce as much if he was a Laker, with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol sure to be ahead of him in the pecking order?  Since he rarely plays close to the basket (certainly not like Bynum does), I don’t think he would be more efficient than Bynum is on offense.

Plus there’s the related fact that he plays power forward.  The Lakers have Gasol and Lamar Odom 1 and 2 on their power forward depth chart (Gasol is #2 at the center position, even though he’s #1 during end games owing to Bynum’s youth – and therefore Phil Jackson’s decision to sit Bynum during the end of games).  Do you think someone on a max contract will want to be anything less than #1 at his position?  I suppose Gasol will play out of his position and move over to center, but that would necessarily mean that you’re reducing HIS effectiveness by shifting him out of his natural position.

Taking your second-best player out of his comfort zone and natural playing position just to accommodate a more highly-paid player playing his same position makes a whole lot of sense, yes?

(In case you’re a midget-minded idiot muppet, that last question was supposed to be sarcastic.)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  Basketball is still a game of big men.  A good big man is a huge asset, and a great big man is only more so.  Bynum, as young and inexperienced he still is, is already a good center; in my opinion, he has true potential to become a truly great center (better than Shaq, I’d dare say) and can become that if he works really hard at his craft, has good coaching and responds to it, and is lucky as far as health is concerned.  I believe he can be the best center of his generation (better than Dwight Howard, who is a better physical specimen perhaps but is a lesser basketball player).

So why does he have so many haters amongst the Laker fanbase?

(Why not hate on that idiot Jordan Farmar instead, for instance, who is totally useless?  I digress, but I’ll slam him hard later.)

Answer me logically, please, so I can understand the hater point of view.

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  1. renato
    07/05/2010 at 05:33 | #1

    Uhm, I believe Toronto is the 4th NBA market (hence 4th out of 30), would not be wise to know what it is talking about before rediculing himself? Were you on the aircraft carrier with Bush announcing the war was over?

    • txtmstrjoe
      07/05/2010 at 07:23 | #2

      If Toronto was such a top market (in terms of numbers, it may be. I would personally dispute that, though, with Miami, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey as possibly being a few cities with bigger market penetration?), why is there such a dearth of top players wanting to go and stay in Toronto?
      Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and now Chris Bosh are but three NBA superstars who have been there and now want to leave.
      Despite your frankly insulting comment, I decided to approve it, if only to be fair. I insulted (with good reason) certain segments of the fan base. Perhaps I vindicated my own prerogative to insult such segments of the Laker fandom.

  2. 07/05/2010 at 06:26 | #3

    I am a Lakers and Clippers fan. I also follow the Raptors because I am an Amir Johnson fan so I follow the Raptors

    I have watched Bynum in probably 95% plus of the games that he has played for the Lakers.

    Pluses
    ===========
    1. Nice shooting touch
    2. Nice footwork
    2. tall

    Minuses
    ————-
    1. Weak rebounder for someone of his size and length Under 10 rebounds per 36 minutes last season
    2. Mediocre defender. Plays soft on defense
    3. Pretty ineffectual on offense a center of any caliber
    4. Busted up legs and feet and is still only 22
    5. Way overpaid
    6. Has never exhibited any leadership skills

    Other comments
    —————–
    1. The Raptors are owned by MLSE which has more money than Dr. Buss. Toronto is probably one of the top cities in the North American continent. New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Chicago, Toronto

    2. Amir Johnson will within 3 years become a more valuable, not necessarily more paid, but more valuable player than Bynum. Two years ago I said that Johnson would become more valuable than Bynum and I stick by my guns.

    3. The Lakers should try and trade Bynum but hopefully he won’t wind up with the Clippers or Raptors.

    • txtmstrjoe
      07/05/2010 at 08:45 | #4

      Buddahfan, interesting points.
      I would like to respond to some of your minuses, though:
      1. I AGREE wholeheartedly. Rebounding is a part of Bynum’s game that I’d like to see improve greatly.
      2. Don’t know about this one, to be honest. Against his own man (i.e., against the other team’s center), only really huge guys (like Shaq) tend to bother him. As a help defender, or the last line of defense? He gets his fair share of blocked shots, but consider how many shots he changes, or how many passes he tends to force if he’s in the paint. Next time you watch a Lakers game, watch how the other team’s guards penetrate the paint if he’s in there, and then how they play if he’s not in there. Per my observations, the other team gets a lot braver in the paint when Bynum is on the bench (classic recent example: Russell Westbrook of the OKC Thunder).
      3. If you mean AGAINST “a center of any caliber,” well, this is true with heavier centers perhaps, who can push him out of his comfort zone (Shaq, Chris Kaman come to mind). But there are other top centers (Yao) where he also plays well against. I’d call this entirely dependent on specific matchups.
      4. Injuries to knees: Mostly from accidents (with teammates, no less!), though the torn meniscus may not be classified as such. On the other hand, I can only think of two really great centers who were mostly injury-free for their entire career (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon), even if they too also got nicked from time to time. In other words, centers get beat up a lot as a consequence of the banging around they routinely get subjected to.
      5. Way overpaid? I don’t agree, if only because, again, good centers are simply irreplaceable. Jon Koncak was someone who was way overpaid. Michael Olowakandi? way overpaid. Andrew Bynum suddenly looks a heck of a lot better when you look at things on those terms.
      6. Leadership skills: a) He’s the team’s youngest player; why expect him to be a leader right now, when he’s still learning? b) Expectations of overt leadership on a team with Kobe Bryant as the main superstar are not realistic.

      Insofar as addressing the point that the ownership group that owns the Raptors having deeper pockets than Jerry Buss, money you can spend isn’t everything. What team makes more money, the Lakers or the Raptors? Smart businessmen and corporations know that you there’s a point where throwing money into a situation becomes counter-productive. That’s what’s called fiscal discipline. Jerry Buss historically practices such fiscal discipline, seldom overpaying for assets and being more patient with investments.
      Contrast that with the Clippers: They always overpay for free agents, never keep their own homegrown players, and generally give away their assets with absolutely nothing in return.
      Also, Toronto may be one of North America’s great cities (I’ve never been there, but I DO want to travel there someday; I’m sure it’s a GREAT city, in fact, per all reports I’ve seen), but that doesn’t mean it’s a great city for the NBA. With all due respect to Toronto and its NBA fans, I just don’t picture Toronto as a hotbed of NBA-related activity. Are Toronto citizens as rabid for NBA basketball as, say, they are for the Maple Leafs? Or, put it another way, is the city of Toronto as hot for the NBA as San Antonio is for its Spurs, or even Indianapolis is for its Pacers?
      Thank you for your comments. I do greatly appreciate them and welcome intelligent dialog and discussion.

  3. Shrugz
    07/05/2010 at 08:16 | #5

    The reason why top players leave is because they don’t win

    FYI Raptors or MLSE (the owners) can pay for his services I have no idea where that was coming from and why small market has anything to do with being able to pay for a player especially since they announced they’re willing to go over the tax to keep bosh a couple weeks back.

    • txtmstrjoe
      07/05/2010 at 08:54 | #6

      Spending power does NOT make you a top NBA market.
      People wanting to SPEND money buying stuff from you/about you does.
      Intensity of fan support, and the fans’ willingness to spend money on you and your product, that’s what makes you a big market.
      Attractiveness to advertising, ESPECIALLY to out-of-local-area advertisers, makes you a big market.
      (Not even the Clippers, who are infamous for promoting their games against the big teams in the NBA, splash their ads for home games against the Raptors.)

      • Canuck
        07/05/2010 at 09:00 | #7

        “is not a big NBA market and will therefore have difficulties paying for Bosh’s services.”
        then you say
        “Spending power does NOT make you a top NBA market.”

        You are very confused.

        You don’t have to be a big market to pay for his services. Toronto is a wealthy franchise with strong attendance. They can easily pay.

  4. txtmstrjoe
    07/05/2010 at 09:13 | #8

    Canuck :

    “is not a big NBA market and will therefore have difficulties paying for Bosh’s services.”
    then you say
    “Spending power does NOT make you a top NBA market.”

    You are very confused.

    You don’t have to be a big market to pay for his services. Toronto is a wealthy franchise with strong attendance. They can easily pay.

    Very well, then. I stand corrected.
    But then again, I’d like to see who the next great superstar signs with the Raptors as a free agent. Who was the last one? I can’t remember one…

  5. jamesk
    07/05/2010 at 11:23 | #9

    It was last year that the raptors signed the most coveted free agent on the market.
    Fact is, Vince resigned with Toronto, Tracy left because Vince was number 1 in the market and the marketing department of the franchise, Chris resigned with the raptors as well. It is very likely that if Chris leaves the reason is the same as when Vince left; he vehemently disagrees with the direction of the franchise, and/or is disillusioned by all of the losing. I do agree with you whole heartedly that Bynum has far more upside and potential than Bosh, as well as inherent value as a true center, shotblocker and distraction in the paint. Bynum can simply dominate the paint at both ends in stretches and no area is more valuable. I f we get Bynum for Bosh and he’s the one who stays healthy ( don’t forget Bosh is as injury prone as they come missing significant time every year and seeing a drop-off in play when he returns) Toronto will be laughing all the way to the top of the East. Assuming no other moves, barnagni shifts to PF and stretches the d, Turkoglu has a Howard like presence in the post to work with, it’s the best front three in the east by far. If Bosh goes to the lakers, how do they get better? They have a power forward of equal stature who is more experienced in various championship situations. Chris Bosh has better youtube skits and more experience on talk shows. By the way, here’s some facts about Toronto, as I and seemingly all these posters from t-dot just get fed up with americans who have no idea about Toronto and get our junk in a bunch when we shouldn’t because anyone who’s ever been here knows it’s the real deal:

    The Toronto Stock Exchange, the world’s eighth largest in terms of market value, is headquartered in the city, along with most of Canada’s corporations.

    Toronto’s population is cosmopolitan and international, reflecting its role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. Toronto is one of the world’s most diverse cities by percentage of non-native-born residents, as about 49% of the population were born outside of Canada.Because of the city’s low crime rates, clean environment, high standard of living, and friendly attitude to diversity, Toronto is consistently rated as one of the world’s most livable cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.

    Toronto’s Caribana festival takes place from mid-July to early August of every summer, and is one of North America’s largest street festivals. Primarily based on the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, the first Caribana took place in 1967 when the city’s Caribbean community celebrated Canada’s Centennial year. Forty years later, it has grown to attract one million people to Toronto’s Lake Shore Boulevard annually. Tourism for the festival is in the hundred thousands, and each year, the event generates about $300 million in revenue.

    The Yorkville neighbourhood is one of Toronto’s most elegant shopping and dining areas. On many occasions, celebrities from all over North America can be spotted in the area, especially during the Toronto International Film Festival.

    The Toronto Eaton Centre is one of North America’s top shopping destinations, and Toronto’s most popular tourist attraction with over 52 million visitors annually.

    The Raptors are the only NBA team with their own television channel, RaptorsTV.

    Toronto is Canada’s largest media market, and the fourth largest media centre in North America (behind New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago), with four conventional dailies and two free commuter papers in a greater metropolitan area of about 5.5 million inhabitants.

    The Raptors have enjoyed a consistent fanbase throughout their history. From 2000 to 2002, the Raptors led the league in sellouts, but attendances dipped slightly between 2003 and 2006. This improved during the 2006–07 regular season, an average of 18,258 fans attended each game (13th in the league), which translates to 92.2% of the ACC’s seating capacity. Following the success of the 2006–07 season, Toronto became one of the league leaders in season ticket sales for the 2007–08 season

    The value of the Raptors franchise has risen over the years. With the continued popularity of the Raptors, the value of the franchise rose from US$125 million in 1998 to $315 million in 2006, $373 million in 2007, and $400 million in 2008,and are 11th in value, according to reports by Forbes.

    The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is the third largest public transit system in North America after the New York City Transit Authority, and the Mexico City Metro

    And there’s this:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703701004575113711299000350.html

  6. Alex
    07/05/2010 at 12:06 | #10

    There really never has been a big named free agent signing in Toronto. The fact is Toronto is in Canada, which seems to make it undesirable place for a lot of big named american free agents, on top of that its a cold city. honestly i live in toronto and love it, but if i was getting the same job offer in miami that i was in toronto id go to miami just because of the weather. I think Weather is the big factor, most americans think that the weather here is way worse then in the states just south of the border. That and our franchise tradition is losing, i’d much rather go to Chicago with good young players and a history of Championships.

  7. Penny Widmore
    07/05/2010 at 14:35 | #11

    Wow, I didn’t even know Toronto had an NBA team. Really enjoy your Joe-Pinions!

  8. txtmstrjoe
    07/05/2010 at 16:21 | #12

    To everyone who has commented so far (and to anyone who may want to in the future),

    Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate you all greatly.

    As thrilled as I truly am to see such a huge swell in reads for my blog, I just feel like I need to say a couple of things and take the opportunity to clarify a couple of points.

    First, in no way did I ever intend to disparage the great city of Toronto and/or its great citizens and the community of Raptors fans. I will own up to the mistake of thinking that the Raptors lacked the monetary power to pay up to the demands of any free agents who might choose your fine city and team to play in and play for. But facts remain as they are: While Hedo Turkoglu was probably the most desirable free agent last season (and I thought Orlando made a mistake of not signing him back, to be honest), he is not a bona fide NBA superstar. He’s a very good player, sure. But is he a top-tier superstar? I don’t think anyone would argue in favor of that idea. If someone on the level of a LeBron James or Dwayne Wade signs for Toronto, I will stand corrected. And I will defend the detail (insignificant, really, in the grand scheme of my blog post) that Toronto is simply not the first city/team I think of as one of the big NBA cities/teams. The franchise, while definitely a good one, is simply too new with too little history and too little sustained success (no playoff or championship history). It’s awfully clear that the activity of this particular blog post was inspired by some readers who missed the forest because they zeroed in on a particular tree.

    And that brings me to my next point: This post has nothing to do with Toronto or the Raptors; it has everything to do with certain asinine segments of the community of Lakers fans who I believe ask for poison when they think they want red wine. This blog post was intended as yet another attempt to share some thoughts about how foolish it is to ask to trade Bynum, especially if who you get in return is Chris Bosh. How the discussion got focused on the city of Toronto, I frankly don’t understand. The post had maybe two sentences, if that, devoted to the city and the Raptors.

    Thank you, though, sincerely, for the overwhelming response.

    I hope to be able to continue to write pieces that can invite such discussions in the future.

    Peace.

    - txtmstrjoe

  9. jamesk
    07/05/2010 at 23:02 | #13

    Well said Joe, agreed on every point. So, now you know why were called raptortruthers though.

  10. wendy
    28/06/2010 at 13:43 | #14

    Look I consider myself a Bynum fan myself but I am more of a NBA fan. I like Bynum and both of you guys make great points. Laker fans tend to be idiots. They don’t know anything about the NBA, they want the Lakers to win every year and that’s not realstic. I think Bynum is injury prone and he doesn’t have any leadership skills but I don’t expect him too. He is not the best big man in the game and probably will never be. I do agree when Bynum is in the paint, he causes havoc just standing there but you have to remember Big man are just there to do just that “stand there”. If your a big man who can score than that’s fine but your not required to score as a center. You are suppose to rebound, protect the paint, clean up lousy lay-ups and make teams think twice when they send a guard into the paint or the baseline. I think Bynum does 95percent of those things. When I watch the Lakers play and Bynum is on the floor. You see the guards run through the middle and then quickly make a U-turn. So he is effective. I totally agree that the NBA is a big man game and will always be. If you look back on Lakers history they have always won with Great big man. Bynum is not there yet but give him time. In time he will fit in the shoes of greatness!!

  1. 07/05/2010 at 03:31 | #1
  2. 07/05/2010 at 04:58 | #2
  3. 07/05/2010 at 05:00 | #3
  4. 07/05/2010 at 05:26 | #4
  5. 07/05/2010 at 23:27 | #5

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