On my way to the airport here in Cincinnati (it's actually across the Ohio River in Kentucky), I heard a report on the radio about Andrew Bynum partying at the Playboy Mansion recently.
The host was going off about how Bynum should be at home resting while his Lakers teammates were getting beaten by the Hawks in Atlanta. I am not defending Bynum's actions, but nor do I think they are reprehensible in any way. Now, I realize perception is oftentimes reality, but I believe this particular situation needs a little perspective.
I have talked to Andrew several times over the last few weeks, and I know there is nothing more important to him than getting back on the court in time to help the Lakers win another championship.
In order to expedite that goal, Bynum has been working out quite feverishly during his rehab sessions. And trust me, his workouts are way more intensive than any Lakers practice or game. So it's not as if he was slacking on his attempt to get healthy. Plus, I'm sure several of his teammates have been enjoying the luxuries afforded to them during that road trip. Partying is partying, whether you are at Club Opera in Atlanta or the Playboy Mansion.
One can argue the merits of anyone going to the Playboy Mansion. I, for one, have no problems with it. It's not nearly as decadent as some people might imagine, and I should know. I've been there a couple of times.
But anyone who is trying to make a big deal out of Bynum hanging out with some playmates (let's not forget, he's 21 years old), is doing it either out of pure jealousy or simply to boost the ratings on their talk show or the hits on their blog.
Plus, come on now, what man would not want the chance to have a Playmate sit on his shoulders? It's Nicole FREAKING Narain. In the immortal words of the Chi-Lites, have you seen her?!?!