We told you yesterday that the Los Angeles Lakers were “hopeful” Andrew Bynum would be ready to go by the start of the season.
Kevin Ding of the Orange Country Register put another spin on that today.
Bynum put off having offseason surgery on his right knee so he could play – and we’re not talking about playing basketball. He could’ve repaired the knee immediately after last season, but he postponed it to travel – to see the soccer World Cup in South Africa and then vacation in Europe, as he had the previous summer.
Bynum didn’t want to be on crutches, which would’ve diminished all that fun stuff or required rescheduling. He even had the knee drained, just as he did repeatedly with much ado in the playoffs to keep playing, so he could keep pivoting around reasonably well as a sightseer.
Bynum was set to have the surgery mid-July, but it was pushed back to late July due to scheduling conflicts with Bynum’s doctor. The doc had been available. Bynum just chose not to be. Now he’ll miss training camp as a result.
Ding noted that for a guy who is supposed to be maturing, Bynum’s youth is evident and his focus questionable.
Is this really a big deal? The Lakers would have certainly liked to have Bynum around for part of camp, if only to avoid him having to play into shape during the first few weeks of the season.
Still, if this were in Miami, or Chicago, or a number of other teams where the meshing of new players or new coaches makes training camp important, it would be of greater consequence. The Lakers have a veteran team coming off consecutive titles, with the same coach and same system. Bynum’s presence for games in October or even early November is not a big deal. Him being healthy in May and June, however, is.