Arrogance is a trait in professional sports that is often celebrated. The greatest athletes in the world are brought up to believe they are the best thing to ever walk the earth. Some people can handle it, others cannot. Recent statements by Philadelphia 76ers C Andrew Bynum have this writer believing he is closer to the latter.
Bynum believes Los Angeles Lakers SG Kobe Bryant stunted his growth in the couple years leading up to his departure. I can see how he might think that way, but he needs to realize that the game is a team sport. Bryant dominates the court because he knows that gives the Lakers the best chance to win. Just ask his five championship rings including two with Bynum. Bryant, in my opinion, is a player that can handle the spot light and of course in his own professional courtesy agreed with the 76ers’ future star.
I say future because Bynum has yet to play a game with Philadelphia. If he had been playing this year and playing well he would have had the opportunity to make statements like the ones he made, but he has not. Until he gets his first ten games or so under his belt, he needs to praise Kobe for the time he was able to grow under Bryant.
The fact that Bynum believes he is the best center in the league is absolutely asinine. He has done nothing without the help of Bryant and he needs to recognize that Kobe made him. The Lakers traded for Dwight Howard in the off-season, but before that he was a self made man. He did not have the luxury of Bryant and he still dominated.
When teams played Howard they made their defensive and offensive game plans around him. When Bynum was in Los Angeles he was not even the best big man on the team, so defenses looked at him like he was a third option. When he starts playing again he will be the man. Defenses will cater to his style and then we will see if he is really an elite center in the game, but until then Mr. Bynum you’re not even in the top five.
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33