Blogs > Sixers Dish

A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Sunday, November 18, 2012


(Associated Press)
For those patiently waiting for Andrew Bynum to take his first steps in a 76ers uniform, you might want to sit down. It'll be a while. And, well, because this next sentence is a doozy. is reporting that Bynum, who already had a right knee bone bruise, sustained a similar injury to his left knee while bowling.

Yes, bowling.

A source told ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Chris Broussard that Bynum suffered an undisclosed injury earlier this month while bowling, a sport which the report says Bynum enjoys.

To the tune of millions, apparently. Friday, Bynum addressed reporters concerning a "mirror thing" going on his left knee. He then added that he's suffering from "weakened cartilage" in both joints, yet remains on a timetable similar to the one he released Monday. That means he'd be checked up on Dec. 10 and, assuming he gets the thumbs up, would be OK to pick up basketball activity for the one to four weeks that follow.

Bynum is making $16.5 million this season, the final year of his contract and his first with the Sixers. He's due to make much more than that in the offseason, too, assuming he can demonstrate to an employer at some point that he can return to the court. He hasn't played since May 21, in a Western Conference semifinal for the Los Angeles Lakers.

While it wouldn't seem prudent for the Sixers to offer Bynum a maximum deal, the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent could garner max deals if he was to hit the market. Finding a franchise-altering center -- even one with chronically injured knees -- is never easy. It was difficult enough to make the Sixers get involved with that four-team deal back in August, the one in which they cast off Andre Iguodala for a swing at Bynum.

Friday, Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo reiterated what has been a longstanding belief shared by he and the ownership team: Locking up Bynum long-term is essential. It's fair to assume DiLeo knew about Bynum and the nature of his injury (the bowling, that is) when he said this before Friday's game against Utah:

“From our point of view, we have to continue to be patient, to be cautious,” DiLeo said. “We’re looking long-term, not short-term, and big picture. We’re going to do what’s best for Andrew and what’s best for this organization and get him healthy as he can be and get him on the court when he’s ready.

“Plain and simple, we’re trying to rehab his knees so they’re healthy enough to have him play, like he did last season. That’s our goal. And when he’s ready, and it’s hard to predict when he’ll be ready, but hopefully sooner than later. Main concern is Andrew’s health. Main concern is big picture. We want to have a long relationship with him. That’s why we’re doing this.”
So bad knees or not, it sounds like the Sixers want Bynum in their plans. It'll be interesting to see whether Bynum's proclivity for bowling over basketball will alter that.

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