Injured Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum, whose last action on a basketball court was as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers last season, let it be known that playing with Lakers guard Kobe Bryant stunted his growth once his skills had reached a point where he feels he should have touched the ball more, according to ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin.
"I thought it really helped me a lot obviously at first, because he draws so much attention it's hard for guys to double team and key on you, so it helped me tremendously," Bynum told a group of L.A. reporters before the Lakers played the Sixers on Sunday. "Later, I felt I was able to get the ball more and do more things with the ball, so I could definitely see how it could stunt growth."
And surprisingly, Bryant agreed.
"For sure, because when you're playing with me you obviously have to sacrifice something," Bryant said. "Same thing with me and Shaq. You kind of off-set each other to a certain extent. So, I mean, that's true. When he gets back and he's healthy, he'll come out here and he'll be the focal point of their attack and he'll be getting the ball more and you'll see big games from him more consistently."
Bynum was very candid in his remarks on the trade, playing with Kobe and the adjustment of Dwight Howard to playing with Kobe. He even went as far as to say that the Lakers traded the No. 1 big man in the game (himself) for the No. 2 big man in Howard.
Bynum averaged 18.7 points on 55.8% shooting, 11.8 rebounds and 1.93 blocks in his final season with the Lakers. Howard is currently averaging 18.2 points on 57.9% shooting, 11.9 rebounds and 2.56 blocks. The Lakers are 11-14 after winning two straight games.