The first time All-Star was thus considered by selected members of the media as the second best center in the NBA, trailing only Orlando’s Dwight Howard, receiving 400 votes to the 476 afforded to Howard.
Missing just one game due to injury and at times dominating games on both ends of the floor, the 24-year-old put up impressive numbers: 18.7 points per game on 55.8 percent shooting with 11.8 rebounds and 1.93 blocks, ranking among league leaders in each category.
In terms of his future in Los Angeles, there is an option year on Bynum’s current contract, and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said the team plans on exercising it for the 2012-13 season. It will be the first time in years that Bynum will have not only completed a season fully healthy, but have the entire offseason to continue to work on his strength and health heading into the subsequent one.
Bynum said during his exit interview that he plans on adding a 15-18 foot jump shot, and a turnaround jumper, to his game so that he can better deal with double teams. His coach, Mike Brown, said the “sky is the limit” for how good Bynum can become, while Bynum acknowledged that the next step he can take to reach superstar status — like his teammate Kobe Bryant, who was selected to his 10th All-NBA First Team — will be to bring his dominance every night. Not just for one or two games a week, but all four.
If he’s already at All-NBA Second Team level without such consistency, the Lakers can certainly harbor some excitement about where he’ll go next.
ALL NBA FIRST TEAM:
G: Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul
F: LeBron James, Kevin Durant
C: Dwight Howard
ALL NBA SECOND TEAM:
G: Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook
F: Kevin Love, Blake Griffin
C: Andrew Bynum
ALL NBA THIRD TEAM:
G: Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo
F: Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony
C: Tyson Chandler