Former NBA All-Star Andrew Bynum was a throwback in so many ways. Not only was his deft back to the basket game a standout skill in an NBA that was creeping closer and closer to the spread out and perimeter-heavy ball that is so prevalent today, but he also acted as a throwback to the days in which unyieldingly gifted NBA stars often betrayed their talent and acted like doofuses off the court.
The case for the former is obvious. Bynum has had his injury woes, but he never built on his early promise and hasn’t been on any NBA team’s radar since skipping from the Lakers to 76ers to Cavaliers to Bulls to Pacers in an 18-month span between 2012 and 2014. As for the latter? We have another anecdote to relay that features Bynum either being incredibly daft, or willingly listless in the face of doing something that could harm others.
Their would-be star was a hazardous fit -- sometimes even literally. One day, memorably, the rehabbing big man parked next to Aaron Barzilai, [then-Sixers general manager Tony] DiLeo's newly hired director of basketball analytics, in the parking lot of the team facility at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. As Bynum shuffled inside, Barzilai noticed something on their would-be star's custom black Ferrari and called after him. Bynum, it turned out, had driven away from a gas station without removing the pump's nozzle and eight- foot rubber hose, which he'd dragged, pythonlike, through the street.
So, you have two ways to take this.
The first, and more optimistic end, would leave you just merely calling Bynum a goofball who failed to notice the hose while pulling away and while driving. Those Ferraris are full of blind spots, especially for 7-footers like Bynum, and they feature super loud V-12 and V-8 engines!
Or, you can probably just go with common sense and submit to the idea that Andrew Bynum was acting like Andrew Bynum. Allegedly.
Bynum, who missed the entirety of his lone season with Philadelphia after re-injuring his knee while going bowling, has been filmed parking in handicapped spots when he was in full health and most decidedly not handicapped – the ultimate jerk-hole move. He was also allegedly cited for, after being unable to pass a fellow driver, crossing the divider to drive on the wrong side of the road in order to pass someone.
Even in a rear or all-wheel drive car with as much power and noise-making capability as a Ferrari, you’re going to notice if you pull out while dragging the nozzle and hose. If you’re a good-guy driver that actually pays attention to his side-view mirrors, you’re going to notice the thing flapping on the side of your car. If you’re not an apathetic slug, you’re going to notice it when you get out of your car and walk past it.
This is a long way of saying that there is no way in hell that Andrew Bynum didn’t know what he was doing, and that he didn’t care in the slightest. Someone else will clean up that mess.
Bynum, who was last seen yelling at beleaguered-but-hard-working Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert on the bench of a playoff game last spring before being asked to leave the Pacer bench, made nearly $16.9 million that one season in Philly. The bulk of Torre’s fantastic profile of the 76ers delves into why the team’s new administration is attempting to stray away from employing people like Andrew Bynum.