According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, this comeback is taking place somewhere his former team can keep a close eye on him, though as Charania points out, it isn’t a Lakers-specific workout.
Sources: Former Los Angeles Lakers champion center Andrew Bynum worked out in the Lakers' facility this week as he pursues NBA comeback. Not an official Lakers workout, but gave Bynum opportunity for open gym runs.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 12, 2018
Charania also mentioned the soft spot the Lakers have had for guys who played — and especially won — for the franchise. I’m not sure if it’s just the way this was worded, but I’d add that this is no new development under “current Lakers leadership” as he puts it. This has been a theme for about as long as I can remember.
Under current Lakers leadership, there's been open door for the franchise's past and present players. Bynum won two titles in LA and was 2012 All-Star. He is scheduling other team workouts, too, in his comeback bid. https://t.co/KdX3pWfsUG— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 12, 2018
As was stated a couple Locked on Lakers episodes ago, Bynum simply doesn’t fit with the Lakers, both in terms of the style that the team seems to want to play next season and in terms of culture, if we were to go off Bynum’s attitude towards the game in the years leading up to his departure from the NBA.
All that said, there’s no harm in letting him work out in the team practice facility. He won’t be around to disrupt the team in any way, and if Bynum does show that he has something left in the tank (both physically and mentally), better that showcase take place in the team’s backyard.
At one point, Bynum was arguably a top-two center. He’s somehow only 30 now, so maybe he can regain some of what he lost both in his time away from the game and in the couple years he may as well not have been in the NBA.
Players working out in their former team’s facilities is no new trend either. Isaiah Thomas worked out in the UCLA Health Center this past summer despite having basically no chance at re-signing with the team in another example of this favor the Lakers (and other teams) do for current and former players.
Basically, the NBA would prefer its players work out in a closed setting versus in some random YMCA where all the Uncle Ricos out there can test out their theory as to whether they could’ve made it if their dumb high school coach had just given them the chance.
Best of luck to Bynum in his attempt to come back, though. He was a huge part of one of the most fun stretches of Lakers basketball and if there’s anything left there, it would be cool to see him rewrite what to this point was a disappointing conclusion to an interesting career.