Seven seasons playing side-by-side with Kobe Bryant in the NBA apparently stunted Andrew Bynum’s development. Now preparing to play with the Philadelphia 76ers, Bynum revealed on Sunday that Bryant did more to slow his progression then to help it.
Speaking to a group of L.A. reporters, Bynum revealed:
“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 … 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.”
Whether or not Bynum will develop more as a player with the 76ers is yet to be seen. The former Lakers player hasn’t played for his new club because of a knee injury.
In a further semi-attack against Bryant, the former Laker said of Dwight Howard’s move to the team:
“I think Dwight is a great player, but he’s going to have to get accustomed to playing with Kobe and not touching the ball every single play.”
We will soon learn if Andrew Bynum really does develop with more ball time. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday to examine both of his knees.
“I’m going to have to work extremely hard to get back into form. Obviously I’ve been off for quite some time now. It’s kind of ridiculous. But, I’m just looking forward to getting back on the treadmill and running for the first time this entire summer.”
NBA veterans often help groom their team’s rising stars. Perhaps Kobe Bryant did that all along. We simply won’t know until Andrew Bynum can step out on the hardwood to handle the ball for a longer amount of time.