Andrew Bynum spoke with reporters for about 10 minutes Friday.
Here’s the bulk of the question-and-answer session:
Question: How are you feeling?
Bynum: “I’m doing well, man. The knee’s good. Everything’s ready to go, 100 percent. I’ve been training, getting stronger. Got back from Atlanta not too long ago.”
Question: Take us through the summer, when you got clearance, where you where.
Bynum: “After Boston, I came back for, like, two days, then I went to New York to continue my rehab. Things went well there. After rehab, I flew down to Atlanta, which is where I’ve been for about the last month and a half, I’d say. Really getting stronger, hitting the track, getting into the weights. Just strengthening the knee all the way around. After that I just flew back here and I’m about to start working out with Kurt Rambis on Monday.”
Question: How much basketball activity are you doing?
Bynum: “We did basketball every day down there, but that was just individual skill work. I’m going to continue that with Kurt. Once more guys start coming back in (to El Segundo to begin preparations for training camp), we’ll have full-court work out here.”
Question: At one point did you kill your fear, if you had a fear?
Bynum: “When I started to run again, on the track, which was a week after I got to Atlanta, about July 30. I was running stairs, with no pain. … (Working out with former NBA standout) Gerald Wilkins and my trainer, Sean Zarzana. … Feels super good, especially that first day that I could run without any pain. We’ve just been building ever since then. I have no pain, no swelling, I’m able to work out for three to four hours with no problems. So it’s good.”
Question: Do you notice any significant difference after the surgery?
Bynum: “Actually, right after the surgery I could bend it with less pain, and that was right after and my leg was still swollen. I think I just had some things floating around in there that were causing inflammation. Once he drained all that stuff out, it was all good. …We worked so many hours. Like I said that first day we go on that track, that was my favorite day. It was feeling like it was ready and I could start building it back up.”
Question: Where are you now compared to last year?
Bynum: “Actually, I’m better. My times on the track are better and I’m able to lift more weights. I’m stronger. I weigh about the same, I’m 285 (pounds) with less body fat, so the surgery definitely helped. (David) Altchek (who did the surgery) is a great doctor. Once he cleared me, I was ready to go.”
Question: Is this something you could have done sooner?
Bynum: “Nah, you never want to get cut. I had to take my time. That was the last option. I thank God that it worked out for me, but everything we did was right.”
Question: How much are you looking forward to training camp?
Bynum: “I can’t wait, man. I think I’m the only guy who wants the season to start, like, tomorrow, you know what I mean? But I just can’t wait to play with the fellows. I haven’t done it in seven months, so I’m excited.”
Question: How do you see yourself working with Pau Gasol?
Bynum: “I think it’s going to work great. He’ll be 4 (power forward) and I’ll be 5 (center). We’ll be able to pass up top to each other. He’s a good passer, as am I. He’ll be able to throw me lobs. I really can’t wait for it. On the defensive end, we’ll have a twin-tower effect. … I think things will work out really well.”
Question: Is there a feeling that you want to make up for lost time?
Bynum: “I definitely want to start the season and just go out there and do really well. I left off doing really well, probably the best I’ve ever played. I want to continue that and even pick that up a couple of notches.”
Question: How frustrating was it to sit there and watch your team struggling in the Finals?
Bynum: “Oh man, that was terrible. Somebody wrote an article about that, saying I didn’t smile once the whole time, so that was tough. That was one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to deal with.”
Question: Could you see where you could have helped?
Bynum: “Definitely. Just on defense, really. They had a lot of uncontested layups, which is something you can’t win like that. You can’t win by giving one guy 10 layups.”
Quesiton: Has your perspective changed on that, about the importance of defense?
Bynum: “I can’t wait to work with Cap (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) because we able to hold down the fort for so long as a Laker center. Once I get back with him and with his mentoring, I think he can teach me a lot.”
Question: Do you expect to get back to the Finals?
Bynum: “I believe that. I think all Lakers fans do. I think you all do. We should definitely get right back there and do it right this time.”
Question: Have you spoken to Kareem?
Bynum: “A couple of times, not too much. As the season starts, he’ll be coming over to my house and doing film studies and things like that.”
Quesiton: Do you hope to get any more talk done on a contract extension?
Bynum: “Definitely. I just really want to go out there and play. If I handle my business on the court, the business off the court will be handled. So, we can wait on that. It would be nice to get it done before the season, so I obviously wouldn’t have to think about it, but if not. … I think I’m going to be ready. All I can do is show up and work hard every day. … It would be nice to have that done, but I’m going to be out there either way.”