Andrew Bynum is one of those players you wish would have stayed healthy. A High School All-American player, he leaped straight to the NBA after graduating, becoming the youngest player to ever play in the league.
Being drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, Bynum quickly earned the starting position as the team’s center. Working with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who said he was a sponge in terms of absorbing knowledge, he developed his game to a high NBA level and became a spotlight on the team. Sadly, injuries started to accumulate and his playing time started to diminish; well, at least until 2009 and 2010 when he was a two-time champion with the purple and golds.
After that things went downhill. More injuries on his knees demoted Bynum from leading role to supporting cast. He got traded to the Philadelphia 76ers but missed the entire 2012-13 season. Then he went to the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded to the Chicago Bulls and amnestied only to sign with the Indiana Pacers. Again, due to injuries he only played in two games before being declared out for the remainder of the season.
What does that have to do with New York?
As you probably know, the New York Knicks are in a very tight budget this offseason, and with a lot of improvements needed on their roster, maybe Phil Jackson could bring his old player back to his side to try and revamp Bynum’s career and profit a little from it. Jackson is called the Zen Master because of his philosophical approach to the game, and maybe that’s what Bynum needs to get back on track. Considering he’s been such a disappointment everywhere he’s been since 2010 – even being associated with the curse that whatever team he played for would flunk that season — the price tag on him would be a modest one.
He would be motivated to get better and stay healthy, playing for his old coach – now team president – and showing off his talent in the most famous venue in the world at Madison Square Garden.
I still think the point guard position is going to be a priority when it comes to spending the little amount of money the Knicks have for this offseason, but if the franchise decides to take this shot in the dark and bet on potential instead of statistics, maybe Bynum could prove he’s got what it takes to reach the stardom he deserved as a high school player. Let’s just hope he leaves the curse behind him.