NBA basketball doesn't get a lot of run here in The Hater Nation -- and rightfully so -- but if there is one guy who makes us take notice and watch games, it's Andrew Bynum. It was noted in this space last year that Kobe Bryant's dismissal of Bynum was highly ironic. Remember, if was Kobe lofting air-balls in Utah, ruining the Lakers chance at the finals.
Bynum is now starting to fulfill that promise that made him the No. 10 overall selection and leading many to breathe a sigh of relief that Mitch Kupchak stuck to his guns. The Lakers aren't quite at the top of the mountain, yet. And out here, you have to win championships. But the Lakers are a lot closer right now, then they would have been if they had traded Bynum to New Jersey for Jason Kidd.
(Of course, if the Nets want to give away Kidd for say, Kwame Brown straight-up, that's cool. And that's really Mitch's only blunder, trading Caron Butler for Brown.)
The Lakers, even if they don't make any moves, are getting closer to being a factor in the West. And it seems that Bynum's presence has helped to appease Kobe, too. You notice he's no longer asking for Jermaine O'Neal because he has a younger, maybe better version of O'Neal right on his own team. It's too bad Michael Cooper or James Worthy isn't the GM of a scrub team with a superstar who could just give somebody away to the Lakers for nothing.
But right now, just watching this team starting to become a contender again is satisfying.