Happy Andrew Bynum Day Sixers Fans!
Today is the day Sixers fans have been waiting for for over a year now. On August 10, 2012, the team announced the acquisition of their new franchise center in a 4-team deal that would change the landscape of the Eastern Conference.
The Sixers, coming off a season that saw them one win short of a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, would finally have their centerpiece big man to put them over the top. Decrepit knees kept Bynum from taking the court last season but tonight, the Wells Fargo Center crowd will finally get to see the big man on the court in Philadelphia.
The only problem is, it will be for the other team.
Bynum and the Cavaliers will come into town tonight for the first of a home and home series with the Sixers. The Cavs travel to Philadelphia with a 2-3 record while the Sixers (3-2) are looking to end a two game losing streak.
Bynum will more than likely not sway the game one way or another and Sixers fans will have to get their boos in while they can. Bynum is still damaged goods and the Cavaliers are not getting a whole lot of bang for their buck just yet.
Bynum has appeared in four games for the Cavs, playing just under 13 minutes per game. He is averaging 5.5 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game and is shooting 28 percent from the floor. The Cavaliers are trying to be patient with Bynum and do not plan to play him at all in the second game of back to backs. Therefore, the Sixers most likely will not see Bynum at all on Saturday night.
As Bynum continues to struggle with his knee issues, he appears to have no remorse for his time in Philadelphia. When asked about how he believes he will be received tonight, Bynum made it clear that it is not really on his mind.
I honestly really don’t care. I don’t know how they will treat me. I was hurt. It is what it is, and I’m still hurt. But I’m still trying.
Bynum’s aloof attitude toward Philadelphia is quite the contrast to his introductory press conference a year ago. Bynum made it clear that he was happy to be playing so close to his home and that he hoped to make Philadelphia his long-term stop in the NBA. It is amazing the difference a year can make.
Now amidst all the scrutiny, Bynum appears to be losing his status as even a potential team centerpiece. There is no timetable for when Bynum will be at 100 percent and he himself has even discussed the necessity of adapting his game to his now hindered state, referring to himself as “a shell of myself on the court right now.”
Playing at a level so far below the level he once exhibited is taking a toll on Bynum and has the center wondering if he should call it quits altogether.
Retirement was a thought, it was a serious thought. It still is. It’s tough to enjoy the game because of how limited I am physically. I’m working through that. Every now and again I do [think about retirement]. It’s still career-threatening.
Bynum truly appears to be mentally weakened right now. His mental fortitude appears to be the only thing as weak as his knees and perhaps all sign do point to the end of his playing days.
Tonight, Sixers fans will finally see Bynum take the court in Philadelphia. The chorus of boos for his 12 minutes of action will be somewhat therapeutic for the fan base. Expect the pain felt by Sixers fans to heal much quicker than Bynum’s knees.