Andrew Bynum’s surgery will cost him about a month of the 2010-11 NBA season. Bynum’s surgery was necessary, but he was also extremely selfish in how he went through it, abandoning his team and the fans that have supported him for so long. Bynum earned a lot of respect during the 2010 NBA Playoffs, when he postponed surgery to stay on the floor for his team. He was one of the reasons that the Los Angeles Lakers found so much success in the playoffs, and a key player in the victories over the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals. Does that excuse what he decided to do next?
The last game of the 2010 NBA Finals was on June 17, and it was at that point where Bynum should have been scheduling his surgery and getting work done on his injured knee. According to ESPN, Bynum waited until July 28 to undergo surgery on a meniscus tear in a surgery that was reported to have gone pretty well. To put it bluntly, Bynum had enough time to have the surgery done during the NBA offseason and still get healthy quick enough to miss no games in the 2010-11 NBA season. Instead he decided to be selfish, and will leave the Lakers short-handed for the first few weeks of the schedule.
There are certainly two ways to look at this injury and how Bynum dealt with it, beginning with the fact that he could have put his team first and tried to be at full strength for the next season. There is also the sentiment that it is his body, and he should be able to decide for himself when he goes through surgery such as this. He played tough in the 2010 NBA Playoffs, so some fans will write that off as a reason that he should have been able to do anything he wanted to celebrate and recuperate during the offseason. Those are the two schools of thought here, but at the end of the day, Bynum won’t be helping his team by sitting on the bench.
This whole situation boils down to Bynum refusing to have the surgery on his time, and instead deciding that he would rather get paid to miss games. Even though Bynum is “injured”, he will still earn a full salary from the Los Angeles Lakers during every game that he is on the bench. It must be a pretty nice situation where a player can enjoy his vacation and then come back and have another vacation on the dime of his employer. This decision by Bynum was extremely unprofessional, but he is probably banking on the fact that Kobe Bryant will lead the Lakers through that first month, and that he can prove the Lakers need him again.