Is Andrew Bynum The Lakers’ Future Franchise Player?

Walk into any local sports bar in Los Angeles and mention Andrew Bynum, and you're bound to get at least two very vocal and opposing viewpoints.

To some Lakers faithful, particularly those 25 years old and under, Bynum is the face of the Lakers' future.  At 22 years old, "Drew", as he is affectionately known in Lakerdom, is nine years younger than Kobe, which means he'll only be 30 years old when Kobe retires.

At an imposing 7 feet and 285 pounds, they'll tell you that he's only an inch shorter than Wilt Chamberlain was, but 10 pounds heavier, and more importantly, won two rings for the Lakers, one more than Wilt did, which makes him immediately better than Wilt.

They'll point to the start of the 2007-08 season, when Bynum was leading the NBA in field goal percentage at .638, and how he scored 28 points, grabbed 12 boards, dished four assists, and made two blocks against the Suns on Christmas Day, as evidence of his "potential."

They'll speak with great fondness of the time Bynum scored "42 points against the Clippers!" in the 2008-09 season.  Or how he grabbed a career-high of 18 rebounds against the Bucks this past January as evidence of his "continual improvement." And they'll never fail to mention that Bynum once had "seven blocks!" in his "rookie season!" against the Bobcats.

Move down the bar, however, and speak with the older gentleman that's sitting by himself in a perpetual daze, with the scruffy hair and a face like jerky from years of UV abuse, and you'll get a much different opinion.

"Bynum? You've got to be kidding. Either he's injured all the time or his minutes are limited because he's from recovering from an injury."

Ask him about Bynum's "potential" and he'll shoot you a look that's eerily similar to the one that you used to see from your Vietnam vet uncle when you said "good mo...

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