Andrew Bynum Silencing Laker Fans Who Wanted Him Out Last Month

It was early 2007, and trade rumors were swirling all over the NBA that the Los Angeles Lakers were going to trade their highly-touted young center, Andrew Bynum, for Jason Kidd.

Remember that?

If you don't, then maybe you will recall when, a few years later, even more rumors emerged. The Lakers wanted to deal him to Toronto for Chris Bosh.

Most recently, overreacting callers on local radio stations demanded that the Lakers trade the injury-prone center to the Denver Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony.

It hasn't been easy for Andrew. And that's an understatement.

First, he came into the league as a 17-year-old kid. Most 17-year-old kids these days are more concerned about their ex-girlfriend changing her relationship status on Facebook than they are their careers. Andrew Bynum had to constantly hear that he had to live up to the giant shoes of Shaquille O'Neal. And when he didn't—with the Lakers struggling to make the playoffs and failing to get out of the first round in 2007—trade rumors emerged to bring in Jason Kidd for Andrew. The organization, thankfully, did not budge.

Then, the knee injuries came. It seemed like every time Andrew would fall (or play Memphis), his knees would shatter or collapse, and he'd miss a significant amount of time. And with the knee injuries came the label of "injury-prone."

The trade rumors emerged again, but just like the previous time, the Lakers held onto Bynum.

It could be a psychological and mental drain for an athlete to constantly hear his name in trade rumors year after year. It can hurt the player, and make him feel like both the city and the team don't appreciate or want him.

Athletes are emotional beings too. Just look at what happened in the negotiations with Derek Jeter this past winter. For Andrew to have the mental toughness to not pay attention to any of this, and still pla...

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