It's official, Andrew Bynum has been elected the starting center for the Western Conference in this year's All-Star Game. It'll be his first and while he's excited, in true Bynum fashion, he managed to undercut his own accomplishment noting there is a little less competition this year at the position.
"Man, I always wanted to be an All-Star. I said that like six years ago. It took a long time. It’s kind of attrition a little bit, there’s nobody there [at center in the Western Conference]," No Yao [Ming]. For me, it feels good because at least this year I’m putting up the kind of numbers that qualify me for it and it’s great because the fans voted me in. So, it’s not like I got picked by coaches. The fans are out there and they’re supporting me. I can’t wait to go, it’s going to be exciting and I’m looking forward to the rest too."
Averaging 16.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks a game, it's hard to argue with the choice fans have made, though Al Jefferson and Marc Gasol have compelling cases to present as well.
The irony of course is the day validating his hard work and improvement as a player over the course of his seven-year career comes in Orlando, lining up against Dwight Howard, the player for whom many assume (and in the case of some Lakers fans, hope) he will be traded. So the vast majority of his time over the weekend will be spent answering questions about the hypothetical swap instead of playing in his first All-Star Game.
Bit of a bummer, but showing signs of true vet-hood, Bynum already has his canned answer prepared, one he said he'll stick to the entire trip. "All I can do is keep playing well. The better I play, I guess the harder it is to make a deal."
There you have it.
Hopefully, though I doubt it, the media will get tired of hearing it and let Bynum have some fun. He's earned a little enjoyment.