It didn’t matter that Nick Young hasn’t followed Andrew Bynum’s lone season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, or that he wasn’t aware that Cleveland suspended him indefinitely for undisclosed conduct detrimental to the team.
But the mere mention of Bynum’s name prompted Young to laugh as he recalled their lone season together last year with the Philadelphia 76ers, a year that featured Bynum sitting out the entire time because of lingering knee issues.
“He just does his own thing,” Young told this newspaper. “Bynum is going to be Bynum no matter where he goes.”
“It’s just him and how he carries himself,” Young said. “He doesn’t care what people say or think about him. That’s just who he is. Last year, he had the hair and the braids. It was Bynum.”
Still, Young argued that Bynum received unfair criticism from Sixers fans who believed that he didn’t show enough interest in overcoming his injury.
“He’s hurt. He’s somebody who has been playing games with bad knees,” Young said. “It’s tough. He’s trying to get back each game in Philly, they’re tough. They were on Bynum everywhere he walked. He didn’t play and then he’d go bowling or something.”
Young was referring to Bynum experiencing more pain in his left knee after going bowling in the middle of the season. Bynum, who helped the Lakers to two NBA championships through seven seasons, spent his last year with the team posting numbers that earned his lone NBA All-Star appearance with career-highs in points (18.7), rebounds (11.8) and minutes played (35.8). But he had several behavioral issues, including shooting an ill-advised three-pointer in a regular season game, skipping a meeting with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, playing loud music in the locker room and showing inconsistent effort.
The Lakers then traded him to Philadelphia in a four-team, 12-player trade that brought them Dwight Howard.
“He tried to get back, but he wasn’t right last year,” Young said. “It was probably good for him to sit out.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org