There was a point in time when the Lakers were in a somewhat rebuild mode when they decided to part ways with Shaq. In the process, the Lakers front office had high hopes for talented, but very raw big man Andrew Bynum.
Kobe was one that was not a fan of Bynum’s at the time, demanding to be traded or for the Lakers to trade Bynum for Jason Kidd. Since that time, they have won 2 championships together and Bynum has emerged into the 2nd best Center in basketball.
According to Kobe Bryant, he and the young big man have built a stronger relationship since All-Star weekend, which they both started in the All-Star game.
“Nothing could materialize for us last year. I couldn’t be around my guys, couldn’t practice with them. And my personality could not rub off on the team. I could not give them what I’ve been giving them for the last two months.”
We witnessed a glimpse of the building relationship back when Kobe trusted Bynum in the final 15 seconds of regulation against the Boston Celtics earlier in the season, instead of taking the shot himself.
Bynum’s YOLO court mentality is something that Kobe can relate to as well. The building relationship has led the Lakers to one of the better post all-star break records in the West, and give the Lakers one of the best Duos in the NBA and mixed with Pau Gasol, makes LA one of the most dangerous teams that nobody wants to play.
Too bad he couldn’t have had this relationship with Shaq, but I digress.