When former players return to
Wells Fargo Center, they get a video montage of their highlights. Since Andrew
Bynum never played in a 76ers uniform, he’s not expecting that kind of
“No reception,” the Cleveland
Cavaliers center said. “Just expecting to go out and play another game.”
Bynum will face his former
team Friday, his first meeting with the Sixers since missing all of last season
with a litany of knee injuries precluded him from playing. Here’s what Bynum
said at Temple University, following the Cavaliers’ practice:
Any fond memories from last
“No, just frustration.”
What was most frustrating?
“Not being able to play.”
Did you get a bum rap because
“I don’t think so. If I could’ve
played, I would’ve. And that’s where that’s at.”
Unfair how you’re treated by
“I honestly don’t really care.
I don’t know how they treat me. I don’t look … I was hurt. It is what it is.
And I’m still hurt, but I’m trying.”
Were you ever worried that the
injury was career-threatening?
“Yeah. It’s still
career-threatening. I’m a shell of myself right now on the court. I’m just
struggling mentally. I’m trying.”
Do you keep in touch with
anybody from the Sixers?
“No, not really. The team’s a
lot different, too.”
What percentage would you say
“I think I’m out of the rehab
phase, but I think the stat was I’ve missed 567 days or something like that. I
still can’t jump or slide or anything. I’m just going out and trying to play.”
Based on that introductory
press conference, do you have a sense why fans would be frustrated?
“I really don’t care. My
health is my concern. My knees are my knees. They’re not going to get better.
They are what they are. And that’s really it.”
Did sitting out for a year help
“I still feel sharp pains.
After my dunk (Wednesday), after that, it went down from there. I still have a
ways to go.”
Did you consider retiring?
“Yeah, it was a thought. It’s
a serious thought. It still is. It’s tough to enjoy the game because of how I
am physically. I’m certain I’ll work through that.”
How did months and months of
bad news wear on you?
“I mean, I got bad news with
my diagnosis on my news, but I tried to get back continuously. The frustrating part
was getting almost there and then (to) keep on having setbacks.”
How is being a role player?
Has that eased you back?
“It’s been good. (Anderson
Varejao) is playing well and that’s a great help to me, to kind of sit back and
accept that role-playing role for the moment. We all know if things were going
bad (at the center position), then it would get even crazier. I’m happy for
him. He’s doing well, and I’m just going to keep trying to play.”
What’s your goal?
“To be able to play without
pain, and to discover the joy again.”
Any talk with Sixers about
“No there was no talk about
coming back here. Honestly, there was no communication.”
Were you OK the way they
handled you medically?
“They treated me fine. Nothing
went bad. Nothing went wrong. People just need to kind of accept the facts that
my knees are the way they are.”
Did your people communicate
with the Sixers throughout the process?
“I didn’t have people
involved. I had my own personal trainer that I like to use. And everything went
well there. He went back home, Philly took over and I practiced one time. The
knee swelled up, and that was that.”
What will it take to bring the
“Right now, it’s battling
annoying that I’m not able to do the things I used to be able to do.
What’s your ceiling?
“I still feel like I can be a
double-double guy in this league. It’s going to take some modifications to my
game and whether or not I want to accept those terms.”
After a year with Sixers, do
you still have the same impression of the fans?
“They’re still great fans.
They come out and support the team. While I was here, I had nothing but love. I
don’t have any animosity or anything.”
Labels: Anderson Varejao, Andrew Bynum, Cleveland Cavaliers