NBA legend and TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal, in his neverending quest to completely besmirch Dwight Howard, once said that Andrew Bynum was the best big man in the league. But since he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in the blockbuster deal that sent Howard from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers, I’m pretty certain that Shaq doesn’t even care who Bynum is anymore. That doesn’t change the fact that, though, that when healthy Bynum is indeed one of the most talented centers in the NBA. The key component of that statement being WHEN HEALTHY, because lately that’s a concern.
Bynum has been rehabilitating his knees after he received fancy lubrication injections in Germany during the summer. Basically, the guy has no cartilage and he’s trying desperately to make his knees work. Originally, he was aiming to be ready by mid-to-late November, but then he suffered a bone bruise that set him back to December or January. Now, his recovery has been set back again, because he reportedly re-injured his knee while bowling. Seriously.
"I had a little bit of a setback, and we're just working through some issues with the right knee," Bynum said before the Sixers beat the Utah Jazz on Friday night. "I kind of have a mirror thing going on with my left knee. I don't know what's going on, but the doctors are saying pretty much that it's a weakened cartilage state." (Via ESPN)
And because he’s Andrew Bynum, human cartoon character, he added:
"In hindsight, I guess you shouldn't go bowling. It's not more than anything I've done in my rehab."
My initial reaction was, “Well gee, I can’t imagine that 76ers fans are too pleased about this turn of events” and I went to the Twitters and Tumblrs to gauge that ferocity and vitriol. My conclusion? Tepid at best. It shouldn’t really surprise anyone that Bynum’s big ol’ goofball ways have made him the butt of more jokes than the target of rage.
Of course, it doesn’t help his cause that people care more about his hair than his knees. It sure helps our cause, though.