Andrew Bynum may not be ready for training camp, again.
It was around this time last year when Sixers fans were high on hope. The organization was coming off an appearance in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and they added, by all accounts, one of the league’s best big men.
Bynum was going to cement the Sixers as serious contenders, or so some thought.
Then came the announcement that the seven-footer would not be ready for training camp, which came as a surprise to some who were unaware of the severity of his injury issues.
Next was the news that Bynum would not participate in the preseason, then he was unavailable for the start of the regular season, and well, we know the rest. Bynum didn’t play a single second for the Sixers, and now finds himself poised for a fresh start in Cleveland.
It appears, however, that Bynum’s time with the Cavaliers is starting off much like it did with the Sixers.
From The Plain Dealer:
“While Bynum continues to be diligent in working with the Cavs trainers, it's still too early to know if he will be ready for the opening of camp -- in terms of full basketball activity. Remember, he has two bad knees. He had surgery on both in March. He didn't play a single game last season. The Cavs are in no rush for him to play early in camp. When he does come back, they want his knee strong enough so that he can remain healthy.”
This statement reads eerily similar to a 2012 quote from then-Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo:
“We want to be cautious. We don't want to get him out there too soon until he's healed and ready to go."
Earlier this summer, Bynum’s agent David Lee said that the all-star center would definitely be ready for training camp.
“There’s not a concern in the world,” Lee stated.
Apparently there is some.
The Cavaliers are hoping this isn’t the first step in a slippery slope full of missed return dates and empty promises that the Sixers franchise is all too familiar with.
But, Cavs fans needn’t fret, because Bynum himself really wants to play a full season of basketball.
“I want to play a full season. There is no doubt in my mind that I couldn't do that,” Bynum stated in his introductory press conference in Cleveland. “Yes, I'm going to be ready. That is the plan. As long as I stick to it, I really believe that I have a great chance with this organization.
“I'll be working. I can't say it any other way. I want to get things going.”
We’ve heard that one before. Good luck, Cleveland.