Kobe Bryant’s comments on Andrew Bynum’s injury woes during the Lakers’ 2010 NBA Championship Season were a stark reminder that even the most successful athletes can be ruthless when they’re not winning. In an interview with ESPN, Bryant said “Welcome to the club” after Bynum was sidelined for six weeks because of knee surgery.
At all costs, win. During his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant lived by this slogan. It’s a philosophy he fostered in his colleagues as well.
During the 2009-10 season, Bryant and the Lakers were chasing back-to-back titles, but a late injury to promising center Andrew Bynum threatened to ruin their title chances. Kobe, who has long known what it takes to win a championship, expressed little compassion for Bynum’s predicament. Bryant suggested that Bynum dive deep and play through the pain in his own unique manner.
Throughout his career, Kobe Bryant has been plagued by injuries.
Injuries never stopped Kobe Bryant from pursuing championships or individual greatness.
Bryant had a variety of health ailments throughout his career. During Game 2 of the 2000 NBA Finals, he injured his ankle and missed Game 3, which the Indiana Pacers won to tie the series. However, Kobe returned in Game 4, scoring 28 points and keeping the Lakers in the lead when Shaquille O’Neal fouled out in overtime.
Bean’s determination to play through pain in the Finals set the tone for the rest of his career. During the 2003-04 season, he battled recurrent shoulder problems as LA advanced to the Finals for the fourth time in five seasons. Bryant, perhaps most famously, suffered from a variety of dislocated fingers.
During the 2009-10 season, Kobe sustained an avulsion fracture in his right index finger, which required surgery. Bryant had a torn ligament and a separate avulsion fracture during the 2007-08 season, which put him back. Because of the Olympic Games, he opted to forgo surgery completely throughout the summer of 2008, and he never had one.
Bryant played the whole 2009-10 season with an injured pinkie and subsequently an injured index finger on his shooting hand. When news of Andrew Bynum’s knee problems surfaced in May 2010, he didn’t have much to say.
When Kobe found out about Andrew Bynum’s damaged meniscus, he had a harsh reaction.
Despite winning eight fewer games than the previous season, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers seemed to be one of the most dangerous teams in the NBA heading into the playoffs. However, one injury seemed to alter that.
During the first round against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Andrew Bynum tore a little meniscus in his right knee. The former All-Star was an important part of LA’s frontcourt, averaging 15.0 points and 8.3 rebounds while also protecting the rim.
Without Bynum, the Lakers would have been much more susceptible. Bryant, on the other hand, never entertained the notion of the young center being ruled out. When questioned about his reaction to hearing of Bynum’s injury, he gave a straightforward answer.
“Welcome to the club,” says the greeter.
Kobe Bryant is a basketball player who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers (2010)
Bryant’s attitude is reflected in this statement. He expected his colleagues to meet his high expectations and battle through the agony.
Bynum didn’t have much of an option except to play. He did, in fact, decide to postpone surgery until after the season. It was also a critical choice since the Lakers needed Bynum’s inside presence for the rest of the postseason.
As the Lakers won their second straight championship, Bynum played a lesser but crucial part.
On May 6, 2009, in Los Angeles, California, Kobe Bryant speaks with Andrew Bynum on the bench during Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center during the 2009 NBA Playoffs | Harry How/Getty Images
During the playoffs, Lakers head coach Phil Jackson wisely controlled Bynum’s minutes. Pau Gasol in the center and Lamar Odom as a point forward were often used in Jackson’s rotations.
While Bynum’s playing time was reduced, he still played an important role in the frontcourt. During the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns, the New Jersey native averaged 1.2 blocks in only 18.1 minutes a game. In the NBA Finals, he also provided a vital rebounder for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Boston Celtics frontcourt of Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins.
Bynum put everything on the line for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, and his efforts helped them win back-to-back championships. That’s not to say Kobe wasn’t expecting anything less.
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The los angeles lakers record is a basketball team that plays in the NBA. Kobe Bryant was the star player for the Lakers during their 2010 season, which ended with them winning their second consecutive championship.
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