Kobe Bryant Must Teach Andrew Bynum to Play Like Champion, Not Chump

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IMay 11, 2012

DALLAS - JANUARY 13:  Derek Fisher #1, Kobe Bryant #24 and Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers on January 13, 2010 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has come a long way as a leader throughout his legendary 16-year NBA career.However, before the last chapter of his Lakers' career is written, Kobe has possibly the biggest challenge of leadership ahead of him in Andrew Bynum.

Quite frankly, Bryant needs to teach Bynum how to play and act like a champion and not like a chump.

Despite the insane talent he possess, Bynum has acted much more like a chump instead of the champion the Lakers' organization needs him to be.

Whether or not it's the off-the-court antics, the ill-advised three-point shots, the refusal to join team huddles or his complete lack of focus at times, Bynum has a lot to learn to be the type of player his talent says he should be.

For a young guy like Bynum, he's in the perfect situation of where he can learn from a future Hall of Famer in Kobe. Most young players should be following a guy like Bryant's every move in an attempt to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

Kobe's done all the right things when it comes to the nurturing of Bynum. He always has his back in interviews and shows more support for the 24-year-old than almost anyone in the Lakers' organization has.

Yet things haven't seemed to sink in with Bynum at this point in his career which is now already in its seventh season.

If you're a Lakers fan, ignore Bynum's numbers and just ask yourself if you would feel comfortable with him leading this franchise in the future without Kobe?

Bryant was young once as well and had a lot of growing to do in order to become the leader who he is today.

DENVER, CO - MAY 06:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers is wrapped up by JaVale McGee #34 of the Denver Nuggets for a jump ball in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 6, 2012 in Denver
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

What he needs to do is to teach Bynum how to act as a professional and as a leader on and off the court. Even if that means holding his hand every step of the way. Bynum has the physical talent to become an NBA star for years, but he doesn't have the mental capacity or the dedication to lead a franchise for a week, much less a season or longer.

That's Kobe's mission with Bynum.

He much teach him how to be a leader and play like a champion every time he steps on the floor. Playing and acting like a chump can't be tolerated any longer.