Andrew Bynum is blowing up this season — averaging 18.8 points and 15.7 rebounds per game, he is putting up numbers that are making Lakers fans rethink their Dwight Howard fascination. He is showing more polish and power, getting more shots right at the rim (7.7 attempts per game) and he is a beast on the glass. He needs to work on recognizing and passing out of double teams (turnovers are an issue) but this season is a big step forward in his evolution.
Part of the success we’re seeing from Andrew Bynum this year is that the Lakers have invested a lot of time in energy and coaching and tutoring him. What, you think we’re talking about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Ha. What’s he know compared to Kwame Brown?
Kwame told the Los Angeles Times he deserves some credit for the player Bynum has become. Seriously.
“He’s a grown man now,” Brown said of his former Lakers teammate. “He’s grown into his body well. He’s a lot more physical than when he first came in…
“That was my young fella,” Brown said. “I taught him everything he knows… I’m one of the better defenders in the league and we played against each other every day in practice,” Brown said. “I told him if you can score against me, you can score on anyone.”
To be fair, Kwame is a pretty good man-on-man defender on the block. Ask him to recognize and make help rotations and he moves at the speed of a three-toed sloth. Ask him to catch a sharp pass and you see the “manos de piedra.” But body up a guy in the post? That is the one thing he can do.
That is also very different than saying he helped Bynum evolve. Drew made his big leaps long after Kwame was disappointing fans elsewhere.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.