Andrew Bynum made his first ever NBA All-Star Game appearance last year. Over the course of a shortened season, he averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game – the highest totals of his career. Aside from Dwight Howard, folks were hard pressed to name another young center they would want on their team.
That was last year.
This year, Bynum is averaging zero points and zero rebounds per game. He will not be making an All-Star Game appearance. And, most importantly, he is no longer considered a young center whom folks would want on their team. Why? Because Bynum hasn’t played in a single game this season and, according to a new report by Brian Windhorst of ESPN, may end up not playing at all.
"Bottom line is Andrew is out indefinitely," DiLeo said before the Sixers played the Oklahoma City Thunder. "There are no timelines; we just have to wait and see how he reacts."
Bynum is currently dealing with bone bruises and something known as a “weakened cartilage state.” What that latter condition means specifically is irrelevant, really. All anyone needs to know is that the guy who had never played more than 65 games (second most was 54) for the Los Angeles Lakers in non-shortened NBA seasons because of his busted up knees is out again – because of his busted up knees. It doesn’t matter how he hurt them. It doesn’t matter if the injury came while bowling, skydiving or marathon running. Injury prone players get injured, plain and simple. Bynum is an injury prone player.
The Philadelphia 76ers got blinded by the shininess of Bynum’s 2011-12 campaign. They got blinded to the point where they ignored six years of history. No spin can change that now. They helped facilitate a trade that landed Los Angeles the best center in the NBA for essentially nothing.
"His knees now and the MRIs are not the same; it's a different type (of) situation," DiLeo said in the same interview. "At the time of the trade, we had four doctors look at his MRI; we knew it was a calculated risk. We also knew we were getting the second-best center in the league, a franchise-type player. We took that risk."
They did. They took the risk. A very, very bad risk. And now they’re living with the consequences.