Philadelphia, PA- As chants of “Beat the Heat” rang through the crowded National Constitution Center in downtown Philadelphia, Sixers’ center, Andrew Bynum, started to feel at home. Bynum and veteran guard, Jason Richardson, were traded late last week to the Philadelphia 76ers in a 4-team trade that included the dealing of center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bynum seemed to be ebullient around the fact that he was virtually coming back home, having grown up in Plainsboro, New Jersey, until moving to Los Angeles. During the press conference he spoke of his initial thoughts on being traded East, “I just thought I was coming home man”, and as the fans roared he responded, “I’ve never seen anything like this before”.
Richardson was also excited on the trade to put him in the ‘city of brotherly love’ saying, “I’m definitely excited to come here and work with this organization”. J-Rich will be looked as a mentor to younger players on the team, which was made more apparent as the press conference progressed. When asked on how he would contribute to other players, Richardson replied, “Play hard no matter what the situation is, that’s always been my character. I’ll be a role model to these guys”.
The biggest moment of the conference was when Bynum was interrogated by reporters about the end of his contract. His contract will be expiring at the end of this season with the 76ers and there has been speculation on if he would re-sign or not. When asked Bynum answered emphatically, “I’m leaning towards making this [Philadelphia] my home”. The Sixers nation erupted thereafter.
Questions were also asked about his upcoming surgery in Germany for his knee issues, which were dismissed by reassuring everyone that he would be prepared when the season came.
With the acquisition of not only Bynum but Richardson the 76ers can make an argument for being the best team in the Eastern Conference, and Bynum seems to be the most confident on his playing ability. Bynum was questioned on being compared to Moses Malone and the pressure around that statement and defending it in Philadelphia. He only responded with a short statement that rang true for the entire Sixers organization in this upcoming season.
“There’s pressure, but pressure make diamonds”
Tyler R. Tynes is the Featured Columnist for the Philadelphia 76ers with Rant Sports, Lead Writer covering the Philadelphia 76ers for Buzz On Broad and the NBA Insider for “4 for 4 Sports Talk with Goddess and Hurka”
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