Work ethic and passion are needed in almost anything that one wants to focus on for the rest of one’s life. A doctor needs to have the passion to work in the medical field and take part in years, years, and years of study. I need passion to work on this article and focus on journalism. Sports are exactly the same thing, if not more, for practice and hard work are often needed. Good work ethic is a must. Any 7-footer can put a basketball through the hoop, but some skill is required to do it at a high level or a professional level. There are many 7-footers in the NBA that have been nothing but statues who are known as being victims of posterizing dunks (. . . Mozgov . . .). Others are talented, but they have been hurt with injuries or they lack solid work ethic. Sometimes, even both are the case. This is where the Andrew Bynum Saga continues.
On Saturday, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that Bynum is suspended indefinitely for violating team protocol on conduct. While a casual basketball viewer will not look too much into that and pass it by, there is obviously more than just what the Cavaliers are putting out there. We can expect to hear more from their organization, or perhaps Bynum himself, sometime in the near future once the two finalize their divorce. As for now, it is clear that Bynum is not highly praised by the Cavs front office, and the end is near for the former All-Star in Cleveland. It might be very possible that we will not see him wearing their jersey ever again.
Bynum was seen as a negative influence on the Cavaliers’ roster. Earlier in the season, he mentioned talks of retirement at the age of 26. While many expected him to have a solid season again, he started off extremely slow, and he showed nothing except signs of obvious rust. He’s had multiple different surgeries and procedures done to his knees which have put him at the point where he has lost his passion for the game. However, some claim that he never had passion for the game of basketball in the first place.
It’s a shame. Bynum showed flashes of excellence in a Los Angeles Lakers’ uniform. From dunking on Shaq to being one of the five Lakers to ever grab 30 rebounds in a game, to his All-Star appearance and even an All-NBA Second Team spot in 2012, to now, Bynum has fallen off. His immaturity is a huge reason. He has taken ridiculous shots in his life that has gotten him benched, he has skipped practice for no reason at all, and he’s even had issues off the court where he received a citation for parking in not one, but two handicap spots. These incidents might have been foreshadowing his future with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he played in absolutely no games for them. He did make noise on the bench, though, with his crazy new hairstyle(s) at the time.
Going from averaging 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2 blocks all while shooting 55 percent from the field and nearly 70 percent from the free throw line, it is safe to say that Bynum’s days of being a star are over. Although he has had a decent amount of good games for Cleveland this season, the bad heavily overshadows the good. With averages of 8.4 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, and 41 percent field goal shooting this season, these are not the type of numbers the Cavs were expecting nor hoping for.
With the team underachieving and with Bynum being a major disturbance, the Cavs will look to move him within the next couple of weeks. There are a few teams already rumored to be interested in the former star.
The Heat were rumored to be going for Bynum a few years back, but all talks have simmered down. With the signing of Greg Oden, this would be an interesting pick-up. Oden and Bynum both had potential to be superstars, but injuries have clearly taken a hit on both of their careers. The front line for Miami is still thin, and they will need all the size they can get to defend Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers when they meet in the Postseason.
Los Angeles Clippers
A return to Los Angeles is rumored heavily at the moment by reporters on the Clippers’ side. Bynum would help the Clippers as a back-up to DeAndre Jordan. The Blake Griffin-Jordan frontcourt is already a solid one, but Ryan Hollins off the bench does not work well with the Clippers when he is called upon. Depth will help the team if they want to make a serious run in a deep Western Conference.
While there are no strong rumors like the previous two teams mentioned, the Nets might have to take a look into this. Although it could be awkward playing under a coach you were rumored to be traded for (thanks, Kobe), it could be a need for Brooklyn with their devastating record and Brook Lopez’ season-ending injury. Worst-case scenario is that Bynum just adds turmoil to the already frustrated team. However, Kevin Garnett could keep him in check.
Editor’s Note: Andrew Bynum’s contract becomes fully-guaranteed on Jan. 7th, so the Cavaliers will try to trade him before that deadline. Why? Given Bynum’s health and level of motivation, whoever acquires him (if anyone) will likely wish to waive him to save money. If the Cavaliers can’t find a trade (they’re most likely looking for a small forward, their weakest position), they will just waive him. This Offseason, the Cavaliers made a smart decision to go after Bynum, and they structured his contract in a way that accentuated that. Although the experiment didn’t work out quite as planned, they’ve positioned themselves well moving forward. Stay tuned with the Street Team in the coming weeks as we cover the latest in the Bynum Saga.