Andrew Bynum’s game has come so far since he entered the league out of high school in 2005. When healthy, Bynum can throw up numbers that are on par with almost any center in the league. He averaged a career high 14.3 ppg to go along with 8 rpg and 1.8 bpg. This season, he’s looking to make a bigger impact as the Lakers work towards winning back-to-back championships. Bynum took some time after yesterday’s training camp session to talk to Dime on the phone.
Dime: There have been reports that you came into camp in great shape. Where have you been working out this offseason and what have you been doing?
Andrew Bynum: With my trainer down in Atlanta. What we normally do is track workouts. Then we follow it up with a weight room routine whether it be for the legs or upper body. The majority of my summer has been leg workouts because I had to get my base back and I had to get the strength back in my legs. We might have done one maybe two upper body workouts a week and everything else was legs, four days of legs. Just trying to get strong and my quickness back.
Dime: What part of your game do you think you’ve improved in the most over the summer?
AB: Just shots all around the paint – 15-feet out. Just working on anything that’s going to get me to that next level. If people don’t honor my jumper than they’ll just baseline double me or not allow me to get to the middle. So I have to add something else to open those things back up to allow me to be a more efficient player.
Dime: Between Lamar Odom getting married to Khloe Kardashian and you guys being the returning champs, I imagine media day looked like a circus. How has the media attention compared to past seasons?
AB: Actually it wasn’t really that bad. It’s not going to be so much mainstream media, it’s going to be more the TMZ’s all that waiting around when we get to the hotel, and stuff like that. Mainstream media was about the same.
Dime: You’ve been around this city and the media craziness for the past four years. Do you ever get used to the TMZ’s and living under the microscope in L.A.?
AB: Yeah you got to get used to it. It’s unfortunate but it comes along with the role. You give them that time, you give them the answers their looking for and you keep it moving and that’s what you got to do. The bottom line is some of it’s good some of it’s bad, you know what I mean? It’s not a bad thing for everyone to know you. And you shouldn’t be doing the things that get you in trouble in those publications anyway. I’ve definitely had my experiences with paparazzi. For me, I’m very casual I just take it with a grain of salt. They ask me whatever they want I give them my answer than keep it moving.
Dime: As the leader on the team, what has Kobe done to keep the focus on repeating?
AB: Actually you know what, it’s kind of been funny. He definitely has told us what it’s going to take and talked about winning it again and things like that. But for the most part, he’s never really had to. I think everybody’s come into camp this year understanding that, ‘look we’re the team to beat.’ Everybody’s gotten better and I think we’re ready to go right now.
Dime: You guys have been in training camp for a few days now. Describe what the vibe has been in practice?
AB: Oh it’s been fun. Yesterday we did something, a five-man drill we call it. It’s like a four-on-four-on-four game and everybody was being competitive. The final score was like 9-8. One team had 8, one team had 10, one team had 9. Everybody was competing and having fun.
Dime: How is Ron Artest looking in practice?
AB: Oh man Ron is a beast, I love him to death. He’s definitely a cool guy and I think he’s definitely going to help us on the defensive side and bring us toughness. And on offense, we’re unstoppable. You can’t double off anybody, everybody can make plays. I think he’ll be great for us.
Dime: So is he adjusting to the triangle offense?
AB: Yeah he’s picking it up quick. He’s been studying it all summer.
Dime: Last year Sasha Vujacic’s game declined a little bit. How is he been looking in practices so far?
AB: Yeah he’s been looking great. He’s shooting the ball well. To me he’s gotten tougher. He’s been taking the ball to the rim a lot more.
Dime: What do you expect out of yourself this season?
AB: Personally for me this season, my goal is to be on that All-Star team. And that’s the new priority. I think it’s definitely something I can do, I’ve shown that. Hopefully I’ll be injury-free this year. And then obviously with Yao being out and Shaq being traded back to the East Coast, I think that center position is wide open.
Dime: Are you guys going to repeat?
AB: Yes, definitely. That’s the goal, nothing less. And you know what’s funny is being on the Lakers just makes you think that way because it’s a storied franchise.
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