Andrew Bynum, the oh-so-talented, oft-injured Lakers center, has had an up and down season, much like the rest of his career. He's missed games due to injury in each of the last four seasons, including this one. He's played 82 games only once, 2006-2007, his sophomore season, and has been the subject of trade rumors since then. Of course we all know about the amateur video showing Kobe Bryant in a Newport Beach (ORANGE COUNTY IS NOT A CITY) parking lot ranting about trading "his ass!". Five years later, he still wears purple and gold.
Andrew has both wowed and frustrated Lakers fans as many are still waiting for him to "break out" and play another full season without sitting out a bunch of games due to injury. There is so much potential there, but just as things seem to start going well, BANG, down he goes again. This time around, Andrew started the season on the bench, recuperating from off-season surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, suffered during the Oklahoma City Thunder series. He made it through the rest of the playoffs, playing through the pain, but elected to delay surgery until after the 2010 World Cup which was played in South Africa. He then took a European vacation (Chevy Chase and his family stayed home last summer, so Andrew picked up the slack) and had surgery on July 28.
- He was born in Plainsboro, New Jersey, and is the youngest of two boys (brother Corey)
- He picked up the nickname "A" Train in high school
- In 2005, he became the youngest draft pick in NBA history at 17 years and 244 days; he was chosen 10th overall by the Lakers
- On November 2, 2005, at 18 years, 6 days, he became the youngest player ever to play an NBA game, a record he will continue to hold unless the NBA reverses its decision to require all players entering the draft to be at least one year removed from high school
- During the 2006-07 season, the New Jersey Nets expressed interest in a trade for Bynum and offered Jason Kidd in return; Kobe's shopping mall parking lot rant came during the off-season
- He had his first career double-double on November 7, 2006, becoming the youngest Lakers player to do so at age 19 (Magic Johnson did it at age 20); he currently has more than 70 career double-doubles
- On January 13, 2008, he suffered an injury during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, dislocating his left kneecap (thank you, Lamar Odom's foot!); he missed the entire post-season, including the Finals where the Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics
- On October 30, 2008, he agreed to sign a 4 year, $58 million contract with the Lakers (suckahs!; kidding)
- On January 31, 2009, he suffered another injury during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies (again) when Kobe Bryant fell into his knee after an off-balance shot; this time, he tore the MCL in his right knee and was out until the last week of the season
- After delaying surgery this past summer, Andrew admitted that his doctor told him in advance that he might need more repair to the knee based on findings once the surgery began. He was roasted for his decision, but said he'd do the same thing again (suckahs!)
- After missing the first 25 games of the 2010-2011 season, Andrew has returned strong, though his minutes were limited to help him get back into game shape.
- He's a career 69% free throw shooter (grrrrr)
- He's a Mets fan and his favorite TV show is "Entourage"
Contrary to popular belief, I do not dislike Andrew, not at all. I just hope for more from him. That said, here's hoping he can live up to all that potential and help us get to, and through, the 2011 Finals, and emerge victorious.
So what do you know about Andrew Lee Bynum?