Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/10/12

The type of year Andrew Bynum is having with the Lakers is the one everyone has been waiting for since he entered the league in 2005 — statistically that is. Bynum is averaging a double-double with more than 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. He has been dominant at times on the court, but it is his attitude off of it that has created major problems in Los Angeles. His former coach Phil Jackson doesn’t seem to think it’s as big of an issue as we’re making it out to be.

“Bynum is not quite mature, but everyone should relax and watch him grow up,” Jackson said in an email to the L.A. Times. “This year has been a big step for him offensively…nice to see…and when he takes up the mantle as defensive captain the Lakers can get back in the hunt.”

Spoken like a true Zen Master. Very few people have questioned Bynum’s physical talent, but the last few weeks have been rocky between him and Mike Brown. The 7-footer was benched for taking a three-pointer against the Grizzlies — which he thought was hilarious — and ejected from a game a little over a week later for taunting the Rockets bench. In between those incidents, he was fined for missing a team meeting. Bynum has also admitted that he doesn’t partake in team huddles.

Considering Jackson has more championship rings than fingers, it’s safe to assume he knows how to handle difficult players. That being said, the Lakers coaches have to find a way to coexist with Bynum without allowing him to disrespect the team. If the only way for Bynum to bud into a star is for Brown and company to let him do whatever he wants, the relationship will only get worse.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk
Photo credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

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