Andrew Bynum gets no love from former high school coach

Andrew Bynum

photo via David Maialetti / philly.com

When the Philadelphia 76ers traded for Andrew Bynum last summer, Sixers fans thought they instantly upgraded their team. Coming off of a career-season, averaging, 18.7 ppg and 11.8 rpg, Bynum was seen as a key piece to competing with the Eastern Conference powerhouses such as the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, and New York Knicks.

However, it’s been quite the contrary.  Bynum hasn’t logged one second of playing time since joining the Sixers.  And it’s quite possible, he may never.  Earlier this week, it was announced Bynum will have season-ending arthroscopic surgery on not one, but two knees.

Bynum, 25, is a free agent this summer. The 76ers must decide if they make an effort to re-sign him or let him walk.  The seven-footer made $16.9 million for riding the pine this season.  Based on his work ethic, or lack thereof, and the perception that he now has a degenerative knee problem, which could be career suicide for a man of his size, it’s doubtful he’ll command another hefty multi-year contract.

Philly sports fans hate him for ruining their season, and would prefer to be done with him.  According to Pro Basketball Talk, they’re not the only ones fed up with Bynum’s malcontent behavior.  His former high school athletic director and coaches also want nothing to do with him.  Here’s what was reported,

Everyone here at school says the same thing: What’s wrong with him? Why does he act like that?” says St. Joe’s athletic director Jerry Smith. “He went from someone we’re proud of to someone whose name we don’t even mention anymore.”

“Yeah, I never respond to that kind of request (to defend Bynum), because Andrew has chosen not to stay in touch for whatever reason, so I just don’t get involved with it,” says Mark Taylor, who now coaches the St. Benedict’s Prep powerhouse. “I don’t dislike him, and he’ll continue to do well if he can stay healthy, but I’m sure he’s got people who will guide him in times like this.”

“Like most big guys with big expectations, he seemed uncomfortable with them,” says Wendell Alexis, the former Syracuse star who was Taylor’s assistant in 2004-05. “And subsequently, he seemed leery of people around him — coaches, or agents, or could be anybody. He had a very serious nature for a 17-year-old, actually, whereas most people that age — with that talent — would think the world was their oyster.

Normally when the chips are down, you can always count on people who knew you from way back when to have your back.  Yet, to have Bynum’s former coaches and athletic director publicly voice their disapproval of him speaks volumes about his character.

If you can’t return home, where can you go?

Cold world.

-@sdotrenee

Props: Pro Basketball Talk

About Shana Renee

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Woman + Entrepreneur + Blogger + Educator + Sports Head; a sports addict's creative cure to #allsportseverything. #Jets #Knicks #Yankees

  • CD

    I’m not sure why everyone is hating on Bynum. He is a great player with enormous potential which is yet to be tapped. Unfortunately he has had to deal with tremendous set backs due to injury. That I imagine must be extremely difficult for him. I’m sure no professional athlete hopes for injury, they all want to give it their all but when the body does not allow for it there is nothing that can be done but to be patient and trust in medical science. Philly took a risk trading for him, all business decisions involve risk, some more than others, but the potential payoff was high, that’s just the nature of the game

    I hope Bynum is ready to go next season, and he is mentally tough enough to deal with the criticism from the media. If Philly doesn’t want him come to Toronto.

    • Shana Renee

      Hi CD- Definitely agree, injuries are part of sports and in most cases unavoidable. However, Bynum’s been injured more than most, which has resulted in him missing huge chunks of multiple seasons. There have also been multiple instances when he either delayed his surgeries or waited to reveal complications with his rehab b/c he wanted to vacation or whatever. When he was traded to the 76ers, they found out about his injury weeks later, but thought he’d be ready for the start of the season. His recovery period kept getting pushed back and then he suffered another injury while bowling. You’re healthy enough to bowl but not play? It’s just a pattern of bad choices which becomes intolerable when you’re earning $16 million per year and contributing nothing. I hope he makes a full recovery because when he puts forth 100% effort, he’s a beast. Sorry for the delayed reply, by the way. Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

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