In a recent interview with FanHouse, Andrew Bynum said he believes he can become the best center in the NBA. Bynum alluded to the fact that before he can become the top center in the NBA, he must first become the focal point on his own team.
This is easier said than done. Last time I checked, the Lakers have Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol on their team. Here are 10 reasons why Andrew Bynum will not be the focal point on the Lakers anytime soon.
Bynum sometimes falls victim to foul trouble early in games. It is hard to be the focal point of a team if you have trouble staying on the court for long periods of time.
It seems as though Bynum is always the focal point of trade rumors in Los Angeles. Lakers fans fall into one of two parties: Either you love Bynum, or you think the team should trade him if given the chance.
It is hard to emerge as the team's focal point when half the fanbase does not have faith in you.
After last season's championship, Bynum delayed his knee surgery (which delayed his return his to the court to start this season) to go to the World Cup in South Africa. Naturally, everyone is entitled to taking their time off after a long championship season.
However, can you imagine Kobe taking a pleasure trip if it was going to delay his return to the hardwood?
When Los Angeles fell to the Celtics in the 2008 Finals, Bynum was out recovering from his first knee injury. When the Lakers beat Orlando in 2009, Bynum was able to play, but contributed very little to the team's win. In last season's playoffs, Bynum courageously played on an injured knee and helped the Lakers take down the Celtics.
Once Bynum is able to accumulate a larger sample size of legitimate playoff performances, he will be in better shape to be the focal point on a team.
Bynum must step up his game when he is going head-to-head with other top centers in the league. When Bynum plays the likes of Dwight Howard, Kendrick Perkins, Nene and Tyson Chandler, he must consistently bring his A-game.
Before Bynum can begin looking at overtaking his teammates as the the focal point of the Lakers, and emerge as the league's best center, Bynum must first worry about working on his overall game.
Primarily his rebounding and touch around the basket could use a little work. Bynum often misses chippy shots around the rim, and given his size he could snag a few more rebounds.
Bynum is the youngest star player the Lakers have. Therefore, he will most likely be around long after Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have moved on.
Bynum must worry about working on his game, and wait for his opportunity to shine. He just can't leapfrog his way to the top.
Rarely in today's game will a team have a true center as its focal point (Dwight Howard is the exception).
Now you have big men who can shoot threes and are sometimes mistaken for point guards in seven-foot bodies. While true centers are a key ingredient to a championship team, they are probably are not going to be the focal-point of many teams. Those days passed when David Robinson and Patrick Ewing retired.
It may be hard for Bynum to buck the current trend and be the focal point on a championship-caliber team.
Personally, I like Andrew Bynum, and think the Lakers would be silly to trade their youngest building block. However, as of February 1st, 2011, Bynum is the team's third or fourth best player.
Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are All-NBA players, and will remain at the top of the food chain as long as they are wearing purple and gold.
For the most part, this is out of Bynum's control. However, until he can go an entire season without missing significant time, Bynum will never be looked at as the team's focal point.