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Andrew Bynum Is the Lakers' Secret Weapon, Even if He Never Plays This Postseason

I had kind of forgotten about Andrew Bynum, the basketball player, largely because it seems like he's never going to be healthy. Also, it's not so clear that adding Bynum to this Lakers team makes them instantly invincible, which was how things were supposed to go. Don't get me wrong, but before the young center went down, there were some issues, not in the least the demotion of Lamar Odom to who-knows-where. ↵
↵But I've begun to concoct a new theory of Bynum. He's the next level of potential-based weapons: One who doesn't even have to play. Just knowing that the Lakers have him ready to come back at any moment now (hence the reports of a rushed comeback) strengthens the team's stranglehold on the West. And going into the playoffs, it makes them seem every bit as loaded, stacked, and venerable as those rah-rah Celtics. He's the secret weapon where the "secret" is euphemism, and "weapon" largely an untapped rumor. ↵
↵Don't believe me? Check out these remarks from Tex Winter, Master of the Triangle, in the Los Angeles Daily News: ↵
↵⇥Andrew Bynum is still wearing street clothes for at least another few weeks, but if and when he ever gets healthy, he could be "one of the greats." ↵⇥
↵⇥That's the opinion of the Lakers resident guru of all things triangle, Tex Winter. "He doesn't feed (pass) as well yet," Winter said. "But if he keeps learning, and if he can stay healthy, he could be one of the greats." ↵
↵We all saw Bynum this season; when he went down, the youngster was finally starting to look like a force to contend with. But he doesn't have nearly the basketball IQ of Gasol and Odom, who -- even if they're soft -- are largely responsible for the triangle running as smoothly as it has this season. And yet still, Winter goes out of his way to speak of Bynum in superlatives, like the Lakers have so much clout they just keep a future Hall of Famer chilling on the bench, or take their time bringing him along because, unlike other squads, they have honor and standards. ↵
↵Only on the Lakers, I suppose.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.