Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum wants to play for the Lakers

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Andrew Bynum’s NBA career might have already ended.

Chronic knee problems have rendered him unplayable. A member of four teams (76ers, Cavaliers Bulls and Pacers) the last two seasons, Bynum has played just 26 games. And he can be a real nuisance.

But he’s still a 26-year-old 7-footer with All-Star experience. Teams will look for reasons to justify signing him. They might not find enough, but they’ll look.

The Knicks, with Phil Jackson and little flexibility to pursue stars in their prime, are the most obvious suitor. They sought his services during the season – before hiring Jackson, but while consulting him on their moves in case he took the job.

If New York is still interested in Bynum, he might sign there. That’s not clear.

What is clear: Bynum would enjoy playing for the Lakers, with whom he had his initial NBA success.

TMZ posted of a video of Bynum.

  • Paparazzo: “Where are you hoping to land?”
  • Bynum: “I don’t know.” (inaudible)
  • Paparazzo: “Your home is in L.A. Would you like to come back to L.A. or what?”
  • Bynum: “That would be great. Come back home.”
  • Paparazzo: “Clippers or Lakes?”
  • Bynum: “Lakers”
  • Paparazzo: “You’d rather be with the Lakers?”
  • Bynum: “Yup.”

Those are some leading questions, somewhat diminishing the value of Bynum’s answers.

But many free agents refuse to go on the record at all about preferred destinations. That Bynum said he wants to play for the Lakers, even when asked specifically about them, says something. How his face lights up when answering that question – he was mostly and appropriately dismissive of the paparazzo – says a little more.

Of course, the Lakers have a large say in this. They reportedly discussed trading for Bynum during the season, but that was to waive him and get financial relief. Signing him to play is a whole other story.

The Lakers are in a state of flux, and choosing a coach is a bigger priority. But if the new coach believes Bynum fits, the Lakers should take a look. It probably ends with them passing, but Bynum is too young and talented to fall completely off the radar.

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

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TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. 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.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: