By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia showed Andrew Bynum on Wednesday that there will be no shortage of attention from fans or the organization. The team will likely make Bynum their first option on offense as well. That pressure and attention might be exactly what Bynum wants and needs.
“I think he’s really maturing. And I think that Doug Collins, I think Doug is going to be really good for Andrew Bynum,” author Roland Lazenby said. Lazenby has written several books about the Lakers and follows the team intently. “I think Philadelphia is going to be really good for Andrew Bynum. And I think Andrew Bynum is going to be really good for Philadelphia.”
Bynum’s behavior has often been questioned, including several moments last season when he appeared to have trouble with authority. Lazenby says that a change of scenery will help. “Some of Andrew’s mental issues, or mental questions, I won’t even call them issues. They date back to sort of being that pawn, caught between Phil [Jackson]’s mind games and Jim Buss, who really was a champion for Andrew,” he said. “And some of it has to do with his youth. He came into basketball at a very young age.”
Phil Jackson’s personality can be passive, and Doug Collins can very well be described as the opposite of that. Lazenby says that the attention he’ll get from Collins, at least in the short term, will be helpful to Bynum.
“[Bynum] is an intelligent man. He’s an intelligent young man and I’m not just talking, you know, we have basketball bright, and then we have bright. Andrew Bynum is bright,” Lazenby said. “As far as basketball bright, he is learning and already knows a great deal about the game. He is going to prosper in Philadelphia. I think he is going to connect and enjoy Doug Collins and his teammates there. He and Jrue Holiday, I think that combination, I think it’s going to be special.”
Listen to the interview with Roland Lazenby:
Follow Roland Lazenby on Twitter @lazenby.
Follow Spike Eskin on Twitter @spikeeskin.