Kobe Bryant Isn't Hearing the Andrew Bynum Criticism

Holly MacKenzieNBA Lead BloggerMay 5, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13:  Kobe Bryant #24 (L) of the Los Angeles Lakers, in street clothes due to an injury, talks to Andrew Bynum #17 duing the game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on April 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 103-97.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

How good is Andrew Bynum becoming?

After going scoreless in the first half of a 99-84 loss against the Nuggets, he still finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots. Add in some choice words for the officials and a whole lot of attitude, too.

He's turning into a firecracker, and it's really quite a lot of fun to watch, isn't it? 

While Bynum has earned a lot of fans this season, his biggest supporter is also the most important one. Kobe Bryant gave us a postgame interview to remember as he fielded question after question about Bynum's play.

Bryant wasn't having any of it. He defended Bynum's performance, passion and aggressiveness. He shut down any attempts of follow-up questions and made sure the blame did not fall onto his big man's shoulders. It was something Laker fans should be amped about. It was Bryant protecting his teammate and publicly giving him the co-sign once again.

We talk a lot about Bryant's leadership and how tough he is on his teammates. We all know how the relationship between Bryant and Bynum started. We know how hard Bynum has worked to get to the level he's playing at this season. Now we get to see Bryant show that he respects all of that hard work. Even if you're not a Lakers fan, it's pretty neat to see. 

Also: That comment at the end about Danilo Gallinari's defense? Classic Kobe.