Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

What to think of all this Bynum stuff?

The Sixers announced in a release that Andrew Bynum probably won't be on the court for the team until around mid-December, perhaps later. What gives?

What to think of all this Bynum stuff?

Why do the Sixers seem to be going out of their way to keep their fanbase in the dark regarding the playing status of Andrew Bynum.
Why do the Sixers seem to be going out of their way to keep their fanbase in the dark regarding the playing status of Andrew Bynum. Charles Fox / Staff Photographer

I was at Sixers shootaround this morning when the release about Andrew Bynum was emailed to the media. I put the statement up on my blog but I was busy talking to players so I didn't have time to put my personal spin on this. So here it is.

I wrote for Saturday's Sportsweek that I thought it was crazy that we hadn't been able to get any updates on the health of Bynum. When it was asked twice last weekd if there was an update, we were told by the PR director (no doubt under someone's orders) that there was no update. I wrote on Saturday that ownership had dropped the ball in keeping fans in the dark concerning Bynum and the release today only cements that point more.

The third paragraph of the release reads: "Andrew received a fresh MRI and was seen again by Dr. (David W.) Altchek this past week on November 5."

Altchek is Bynum's personal doctor and the lead orthopedist caring for Bynum's knee. Didn't the Sixers know on Wednesday and Friday after the MRI what the results were? We asked for an update and told there wasn't any. Why? Why did it take a ton of emails from fans and being questioned in the paper before the truth came out? It's all just so silly. Are they not saying anything because Bynum's team (doctor, agent, etc.) doesn't want the truth coming out? Are they afraid of the fan's reaction to what the MRI revealed, that Bynum probably won't be on the court in uniform until somewhere around the holidays at the earliest?

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In the grand scheme, which is having Bynum on the court, none of this really matters except it just seems so ridiculous that the media, and thus the fans, are being kept in the dark. If the guy's knee is so bad that he doesn't play at all this season, that's a shame for the team and the fans. But it's not like the team is invested in him for more than this year. And, yes, a huge part of the trade was parting with Andre Iguodala. His time had run its course here and his departure indeed was addition by subtraction.

But who is the Sixers ownership protecting with all the silence? Themselves? Again, I think they made a trade that was a no-brainer, even if Bynum doesn't pan out. They can then afford to look for another prime-time free agent during the offseason. Are they protecting Bynum, afraid that fans will start questioning his desire to play?

Their silence only fuels speculation and in this town that's never a good avenue to travel. Their statement this morning was a step in the right direction into letting us know what is expected. Bynum will also be available to talk to the media before tonight's game against Milwaukee. Perhaps this whole situation is finally going to start to become more clear.

One thing I want to make clear with the fans,who have understandably been comparing Bynum to Jeff Ruland. Bynum was given a physical before the trade and deemed healthy. His knees did allow him to play in 60 of 66 games for the Lakers last season and he missed four due to suspension, one to an ankle sprain and another for rest before the playoffs. The time he is missing is due to what his doctor calls a bone bruise, which was suffered on or around September 15.

Could he previous knee problems also be playing a part in his missing time? Perhaps, but I'm not doctor and haven't gotten word that this is the case. Could the injury he sustained be more than a bone bruise? Again, perhaps, but at the beginning of training camp the media was told there was no structural damage.

I sort of think that if Bynum hadn't suffered the mid-September injury he might be on the court right now. Or maybe not. Who knows? Getting answers on this subject hasn't been the easiest quest.

Now, about tonight's game. The Sixers will again have the services of Jason Richardson, who will return to the starting lineup after missing most of five games after spraining his left ankle in the first minute of the second game of the season. Richardson deemed himself 100 percent at shootaround this morning.

The team will again be without Kwame Brown, still sidelined with a calf strain.

A big matchup to watch tonight will be Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday against Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings. Holiday has had a lot of success against Jennings in the past and Jennings is coming off a horrendous 1-for-11 shooting performance against the Celtics on Saturday.

Bob Cooney
About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at cooneyb@phillynews.com and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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