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Andrew Bynum has words of wisdom for Lakers' Dwight Howard

Former Laker, now with the Philadelphia 76ers, says Howard will have to get used to playing with Kobe Bryant and 'not touching the ball every single play.'

December 16, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan, Los Angeles Times
  • Andrew Bynum was expected to receive an injection of Synvisc to relieve inflamed tissue in his knee.
Andrew Bynum was expected to receive an injection of Synvisc to relieve… (Rich Schultz / Associated…)

PHILADELPHIA — — Andrew Bynum has some advice for Dwight Howard. Be patient with Kobe Bryant.

"I think Dwight's a great player, but he's going to have to get accustomed to playing with Kobe, obviously, and not touching the ball every single play," Bynum said Sunday before the Lakers beat Philadelphia, 111-98.

Bynum said Bryant helped him "tremendously" earlier in his career, but the 7-footer wanted the ball often in the post as he gradually improved as a player. It didn't always happen.

"Later I thought I was able to get the ball more and do more things with the ball, so I could definitely see how at the end it could stunt growth," Bynum said.

His growth was stunted by Bryant?

"Oh, for sure," Bryant said. "Because when you're playing with me, you obviously have to sacrifice something. It's the same thing with me and Shaq [O'Neal]. You kind of offset each other.

"When [Bynum] gets back and he's healthy, he'll come out here and he'll be the focal point of their attack. He'll be getting the ball more and you'll see big games from him more consistently."

Bynum hasn't done much with the 76ers since they got him in the four-team trade that delivered Howard to Los Angeles. He hasn't played this season because of bone bruises in his knees, the 76ers applying the dreaded "out indefinitely" tag on him.

Bynum never lacked opinions in his seven seasons with the Lakers. It was no surprise when he added his name to a list of people with a negative view of the Lakers' push-the-pace offense.

"I just think maybe their offense is a little too high-tempo for them," he said. "I think they're a much better team if they slow down and post the ball."

An All-Star last season for the first time, Bynum had one other suggestion.

"I think they have to make a commitment to defense," he said, not even needing to mention the Lakers were 21st in points given up.

Bynum, 25, is in the last year of a contract paying him $16 million this season. He said he had no regrets about not signing an extension with the Lakers, not to mention being traded.

"Personally, I think they traded No. 1 for No. 2," he said, quickly indicating that Howard was No. 1, not him.

The only Lakers player Bynum stays in touch with is Pau Gasol, he said.

"Overall, I think it was a pretty good time," in Los Angeles, he said. "I got better every year. I grew a lot there and obviously won two [championships] ... but my time was done there."

Hairy stuff

Bynum changed his appearance since leaving the Lakers, growing out his hair and laughing about it with reporters.

"I've always wanted to grow a really big 'fro," he said before reflecting on his time as a high school All-American. "I had one in the McDonald's game, but I cut it. I wish I didn't. I wish I kept it growing. It would be ... ridiculous."

Bryant thought it was ridiculous, regardless.

"I don't know what he's doing with that perm. I guess he's a trendsetter," Bryant said.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

Times staff writer T.J. Simers contributed to this report.

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