Andrew Bynum Trade Rumors: An Old Topic For LA's New Sports Talk Radio Host

Joe VecchioContributor IJanuary 13, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 12:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action during their game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on January 12, 2011 in Oakland, California. 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


This past Monday, on 710 ESPN Los Angeles, the new 10 am-2 pm sports talk show host, Max Kellerman, devoted time with his commentary, and subsequent callers, to the topic of whether or not the Lakers should trade Andrew Bynum

A multitude of calls flooded 710 ESPN's call-in lines.  I know because I was one of the callers who tried for 20 minutes, but couldn't get through. 

I'm sure many of you have wanted to express your feelings about a topic or subject that you feel strongly about.  It's what makes sports talk radio the success it is.

In this case, while Max presented a topic for discussion that evoked controversy, he also "teased" the audience by saying he would give away a Langer's Deli gift certificate worth $107.10 to the caller he judged to have the best call-in response.

If you've ever watched Kellerman on HBO's boxing telecasts or "Around The Horn," he comes across as knowledgeable, witty, concise, confrontational, and egocentric. 

He epitomizes the fast-talking, New York ''sharpie," a combination of smart ass and smart guy.

The "fly-overs", i.e. everyone living between New York and LA, would most likely find him too cocky, too abrasive, and too "talky."  Kansas City or Indianapolis would NOT be a good working environment for his style.

But in LA, there are enough East coast transplants for his "talk over you" style to work, along with a plethora of controversial topics and subjects to explore.

Andrew Bynum is one of those controversial subjects.  Questions abound.  Is he truly injury-prone?  Will he be injury-free long enough, career-wise, for the Lakers to fully reap the benefits he can provide? 

Should they trade him for a young superstar talent such as Carmelo Anthony?

The "trade Bynum" questions have provided ongoing fodder for LA's sports talk radio hosts.

In Kellerman's case, he once again posed the endless "trade Bynum" questions to callers, revamping it with a "hook" by offering a restaurant gift certificate to the caller with the best response to the trade or not trade Bynum question.

The ploy of enticing man with sports and food most likely was hatched from a slick, New York mind.

So, which do you think the caller's wanted, the chance to comment on trading Bynum, the "hook" of the $107.10 gift certificate, or both? 

I would guess the answer for most would be both.  It was for me if I could have gotten through, wanting the "sizzle" of being "on-air", talking sports along with the "steak" of having $107.10 to spend on pastrami sandwiches.

This is just part of the genius of Max Kellerman, using his New York street smarts to make an overdone, oft-discussed subject like trading Bynum interesting again, all the while cleverly introducing his brand of East coast, brash, sports talk radio to Los Angeles' sports junkies via promotion & marketing,

He has a "Three Card Monte" way of inviting you to join in on a controversial topic or subject, tempting you with a gift, and seducing you with a potential reward for coming to his party. 

It's not just the standard "Win-Win;" it's a "Win-Win-Win" for him, and for ESPN!

While the trade Bynum topic has been discussed to the hilt, audience reaction, for and against from Laker fans, makes for good sports talk radio segment ratings. 

The fact is Andrew Bynum is NOT going to be traded...not now or in the near future! 

Remember folks, the NBA is a "Big Man's" league, and the Lakers would be foolish to give up their ONE main advantage over the rest of the NBA...SIZE!!

Last year, when Chris Bosh was available prior to the trade deadline, I suggested trading Bynum for Bosh, a 7 foot big man for a 6'11" big man, with secondary players included to make the money work per NBA trade rules. 

The trade made sense then, trading for an established 25 year old All-Star for what seemed to be a 22 year old potential star with a history of injury issues.

However, that day has come and gone.  Since Bynum has returned to the Lakers starting line-up, they are 8-1 after their win Wednesday night at Golden State.

As they say, some of your best trades are the trades you don't make.

The topic of trading or not trading Bynum, while enticing to talk-show listeners, is O-V-E-R. 

Repeat after me Laker fans, "it ain't gonna' happen!"

Like it or not Los Angeles, get used to seeing Andrew Bynum, and hearing Max Kellerman. 

They're here to stay!


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.