Even thought they shared success, going through 3 NBA Finals, winning two Championships, and both being named All-Stars last season, Bynum feels that Bryant’s ball-hogging ways hurt his development as one of the league’s best centers.
“I thought it really helped me a lot obviously at first, because he draws so much attention it’s hard for guys to double team and key on you, so it helped me tremendously,” Bynum told a group of L.A. reporters before the Lakers played the Sixers on Sunday. “Later, I felt I was able to get the ball more and do more things with the ball, so I could definitely see how it could stunt growth.”
Bryant, who said he met with Bynum for 3-4 minutes after he put up 34 points in the Lakers’ 111-98 win over the Sixers, was not offended by his former teammate’s remarks. In fact, he agreed with them.
“For sure, because when you’re playing with me you obviously have to sacrifice something,” Bryant said. “Same thing with me and Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal). You kind of off-set each other to a certain extent. So, I mean, that’s true. When he gets back and he’s healthy, he’ll come out here and he’ll be the focal point of their attack and he’ll be getting the ball more and you’ll see big games from him more consistently.”
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