Four years ago today, Lakers center Andrew Bynum dropped a playoff triple double on the Nuggets with 10 points, 13 boards, and a NBA playoff record-tying 10 blocks.
This is a good reminder that Andrew Bynum was a really good player when he was on the floor for the Lakers. Bynum will probably be remembered as that guy whose knee injuries decimated the Philadelphia 76ers franchise and whose immaturity sometimes got in the way of how dominant he could be on the court. He was basically what Hassan Whiteside is now.
Remember that Bynum played his first NBA game before the age of 18 (17 years, 244 days aka the youngest player ever) and was one of the last lottery picks ever to go from high school to the NBA. The Lakers are such a mess now that it’s really easy to forget that Andrew Bynum helped the Lakers win back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. Not too long ago, Bynum was considered to be the top young center in league — one worthy enough of being traded for Dwight Howard who at the time was actually well liked.
This Andrew Bynum sure doesn’t look like the type of player who would only record two more career double-doubles after these playoffs in 2012. His knees look pretty damn healthy here. It was that 2012 dumpster fire of a trade though that sent Bynum to Philly and Howard to the Lakers that decimated the 76ers franchise. Bynum’s knees never even allowed him to take the court for the Sixers due in part to a setback while bowling.
It’s pretty easy to rip on Bynum for a whole bunch of reasons including his terrible haircuts and his penchant for being an immature goofball who would jack up half court shots during practices while he was with the Cavs, but he could have been an all-timer. He’s still only 28 somehow — I mean, he’s only a couple months older than Steph Curry — but his knees will probably never allow him to play again. Four years ago today, Bynum was solidifying himself as the one of the NBA’s most highly coveted centers and now … who knows. What could’ve been with Andrew Bynum.