Andrew Bynum has certainly had his issues since joining the NBA, and they have been both physical and mental for him. The injuries have obviously been a major problem early in his career, and clearly aren’t his fault, but there’s no longer any question that he’s got concerns when it comes to where his head’s at.
Earlier today, it was reported the 26-year-old was “indefinitely suspended” by the Cleveland Cavaliers for “conduct detrimental to the team.” What does that mean? It means that Bynum is acting like a selfish child.
Anytime you hear about a team suspending a player in this fashion, you know it’s because that player isn’t working hard, giving the effort, showing up to practice, arguing with teammates or coaches or anything alike. In this case, head coach Mike Brown‘s comments subliminally told the story.
“We’ve got 14 guys in that locker room who are very focused and determined and ready to take on any challenge that’s in front of them,” Brown said according to NBA.com. “They’re great guys, they’re focused guys and they know how to play the game the right way and that’s what I’m focused on, just helping those guys win.”
Here, Brown is deflecting the question about Bynum onto the rest of his team and trying to create a positive image. In the PR business, that’s called bridging, and he did a good job of that — kind of. Because at the same time, he’s subtly throwing Bynum under the bus for what seems to be just not caring about the team. Since he’s crossed that line with his comments, it would seem that Bynum’s days are without question numbered; Brown appears to have had it with him, and if one of them’s got to go, it’ll be Bynum — especially since I don’t foresee the Cavs firing Brown so early in his second stint with the team.
But Bynum has always seemed to have had these troubles. With the Los Angeles Lakers early in his career, he lacked the focus to harness all of his talent and potential. If there were any personal issues or selfishness, having a leader and spokesperson such as Kobe Bryant masked most of that. But it was clear Bynum never really belonged there.
Then when he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, he sat out the entire season with “knee injuries.” Was he really unable to return to basketball for that long? Or was it a lack of effort or heart, or just plain selfishness because he didn’t want to play for a bad team like the Sixers. One has to wonder with the latest occurrences.
Cavs backup guard Jarrett Jack commented on the situation with Bynum as well, talking about his attitude that has developed during the team’s struggling start to the season.
“That’s just kind of how people are sometimes,” Jack said via NBA.com. “People like to march to the beat of their own drum. That’s not saying you’re a bad guy, that’s just how you are. I thought we actually had a good relationship with him. He wasn’t somebody that was reluctant to speak to people. I thought we had a decent bit of camaraderie and hopefully this will pass and be over and we’ll be back at full strength soon.”
Jack obviously sounded more optimistic that something could work out, but that could just be because he isn’t a bad teammate and wouldn’t say anything to ruin the chemistry even more than it has been.
But with all that’s been said, and considering Bynum is supposedly on the trade block, it looks like he’s going to be out of town soon. The real question is, who the heck is gonna want this guy?
Until Bynum finally grows up and learns that it’s not all about him, I would certainly hope my favorite team doesn’t try to get him. He’s just not worth it.