This year, Andrew Bynum will participate in his first All-Star Game, having won the balloting among Western Conference centers and the accompanying starting gig in a landslide. By definition, this means he'll be watching the game this year.
In the past, Bynum hasn't made a habit of tuning in.
Last season, for example, while the NBA circus was at Staples Center, Bynum was at the Naval Air Station in Lemoore.
"We were checking some planes out. Flight school. It's super fun, man. That stuff's crazy. Then they do the flying shows and all kinds of stuff. It's great," he said.
Bynum never actually sat in the cockpit of a jet, in part because he was worried about accidentally triggering the automatic eject mechanism while trying to wedge his seven-foot, 285-pound body into such a small space. But assuming he actually fit, Bynum said he'd love to actually ride shotgun (or whatever the backseat is called in one of those things) on a real flight.
I asked if he could actually do it, given how many restrictions players typically have in their contracts against dangerous activities. Bynum dismissed the concern with a smile.
"C'mon, man, it's the Navy!" he said. "If we can't trust the Navy, who can we trust?"
I guess at this point, the only think left is to figure out what his Top Gun name would be.