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Lakers' Andrew Bynum not interested in playing in Olympics

April 20, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers center Andrew Bynum tries to keep possession as he's double-teamed by Mavericks center Brendan Haywood, left, and power forward Dirk Nowitzki during a game Sunday at Staples Center.
Lakers center Andrew Bynum tries to keep possession as he's double-teamed… (Bret Hartman / Associated…)

SAN ANTONIO -- Lakers center Andrew Bynum is not interested in playing in the Olympics this summer, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Bynum, 24, wants to rest during the off-season and prevent further wear and tear on his knees, which have each undergone surgical procedures in recent years.

The U.S. is short on centers because Dwight Howard will undergo back surgery and miss the Olympics, which begin July 29 for basketball.

Bynum has not been contacted by USA Basketball, but is expected to stand by comments he made to The Times earlier this season.

"It's definitely something that's a great honor to do and all that, but for me right now, the health of my knees and stuff like that -- I don't know if long summers are the best thing for me," he said in January.

Bynum was an All-Star this season for the first time in his seven-year career. He was averaging 18.9 points and 12.1 rebounds before Friday's game against San Antonio.

With Howard unable to play this summer, New York's Tyson Chandler is the only true center among the 20 finalists for the team announced by USA Basketball three months ago. Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge also will be unavailable after undergoing hip surgery this month.

Minnesota power forward Kevin Love could see time at center for Team USA, as could Miami power forward Chris Bosh.

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Lakers' Andrew Bynum not interested in playing in Olympics

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