PHILADELPHIA -- Despite making an encouraging return from devastating knee injuries, Andrew Bynum is still pondering whether to stay with the game and battle ongoing knee pain or retire.
On Friday, Bynum hopes to do something he wasn't able to do all of last year, which is play in Philadelphia. He missed all of the 2012-13 season with knee issues after the 76ers executed a major trade for him and planned to make him a franchise cornerstone. But even as he's defied the odds by returning to play with Cleveland Cavaliers, Bynum is still in discomfort following surgeries to both knees earlier this year.
Bynum Retirement was a thought, it was a serious thought. It still is. It's tough to enjoy the game because of how limited I am physically. I'm working through that. Every now and again I do (think about retirement) ... It's still career threatening. I'm a shell of myself on the court right now. I'm just struggling mentally.
-- Cavs center Andrew Bynum
"Retirement was a thought, it was a serious thought. It still is," Bynum said after the Cavs practice Thursday at Temple University. "It's tough to enjoy the game because of how limited I am physically. I'm working through that. Every now and again I do (think about retirement)…It's still career threatening. I'm a shell of myself on the court right now. I'm just struggling mentally."
Bynum is expecting to get a rough reception Friday night. There was a perception that he didn't make his rehab a priority while he was with the 76ers especially when he admitted he re-injured his knee while bowling during the season. Several times he was on the verge of returning to play only to have a setback.
"If I could've played I would have," Bynum said. "I don't really care (how the fans will treat him), it is what it is. I was hurt and I'm still hurt but I'm trying… Nothing went bad, nothing went wrong. I think people just need to accept the facts that my knees are the way they are."
When Bynum played on opening night for the Cavs, it was the first time in more than 560 days that he'd played in an NBA game. He's played in four games so far, averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 13 minutes a game. In the Cavs win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday he had 10 points and three blocked shots, showing his progress.
The team is being careful with him, not playing him in back-to-back games and going easy in practice. But he still says he has sharp pains at times in his knees and is battling soreness after games. He's lost significant weight and been contributing but isn't satisfied with his situation.
"I just want to be able to play without pain and find the joy again," Bynum said. "Right now I'm battling pain and it's annoying. I'm not able to do the things I'm used to doing and it's frustrating."
Not a surprise, I never thought he took the game seriously or truly loved it. He's just lazy and doesn't want to put the work in to get better.
I dislike your input at the end. It makes me so mad.
I am not saying he is the most dedicated player because even with the lakers he did some things which made me question him.
However, I just think you have no idea. Nor do I.
When fit he is arguable better then Dwight and the best Center in the league. I can not even imagine being the best player at my position in the world and struggling to move around and register 10 mins a game. On the court he has lost most of his explosiveness and finding it hard to get around the court.
For him it is not just about doing the work to get better. It is not a broken wrist or a fitness issue. His needs are made out of glass at the moment and can never fully recover. If you think he can just go under surgery and do a few drills and rehab and be even half the player he was, you are mistaken. He is struggling to even be a fourth of the player he was.
And I don't get this bowling issue with people. It just goes to show how badly his knees are f*cked. I can not even imagine not being able to do recreational activities because I am scared my knees are going to give way.
Give him a break, it would be insanely difficult for him to get in the right frame of mind to compete game in and game out knowing each game could be his last and not able to contribute.
He might've not had the relentless Kobe work ethics, but I don't believe he was a slouch either. He has a body that can balloon andget fat fast easily. However, since after his rookie year he has always been in good shape. I have stated a few time's in the past he is a giant with bad knees. It's out of his control no matter how hard he works.
Sigh, he should have just gone to Phoenix. They're the only team with a medical team with the proactive approach he needs to be healthy.
Tongue-Out-Like-23 your comment at the end of your post was very rude and inconsiderate. I personally feel very bad for Andrew, because it seems like he might be suffering from a bad case of osteoarthritis and tendinosis. Which are incurable degenerative tissue injuries that effects cartilage and tendon structures of the knees
Osteoarthritis (OA) also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease or osteoarthrosis, is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion. A variety of causes—hereditary, developmental, metabolic, and mechanical deficits—may initiate processes leading to loss of cartilage. When bone surfaces become less well protected by cartilage, bone may be exposed and damaged. As a result of decreased movement secondary to pain, regional muscles may atrophy, and ligaments may become more lax.
Treatment generally involves a combination of exercise, lifestyle modification, and analgesics. If pain becomes debilitating, joint replacement surgery may be used to improve the quality of life. OA is the most common form of arthritis, and the leading cause of chronic disability in the United States. It affects about 8 million people in the United Kingdom and nearly 27 million people in the United States
Tendinosis, sometimes called chronic tendinitis, tendinosus, chronic tendinopathy, or chronic tendon injury, is damage to a tendon at a cellular level (the suffix "osis" implies a pathology of chronic degeneration without inflammation). It is thought to be caused by microtears in the connective tissue in and around the tendon, leading to an increase in tendon repair cells. This may lead to reduced tensile strength, thus increasing the chance of tendon rupture.
Symptoms can vary from an ache or pain and stiffness to the local area of the tendon, or a burning that surrounds the whole joint around the inflamed tendon. With this condition, the pain is usually worse during and after activity, and the tendon and joint area can become stiffer the following day as swelling impinges on the movement of the tendon.
I personally started to see small signs of developing osteoarthritis and tendinosis in my knees from playing a lot of basketball. Because I wasn't using the necessary good lifestyle habits that would protect my knees from overuse injuries. I treated myself early with the needed therapy, diet, good exercise habits, and good lifestyle habits that helped protect my knees from further damage. But for Andrew it seems like it might be too late. He might have to retire if his knee discomfort get's worse
That's a history of all of Andrew Bynum's knee issues. Despite his flaws, I think a lot of people are criticizing him unfairly. When you have the type of knee issues he's had, it limits you in a serious way. Lower body injuries are the worst because you really just have to rest them and wait until they heal. You can't do anything. I think it's wrong to call that lazy or not wanting to work hard.
Bynum has always had a good work ethic. The first time I saw him in the mcdonalds asg he was 300lbs. Within the next two months he lost nearly. 20lbs, and has since kept the weight off transforming his body. Summers developing his post moves, footwork, stamina and defense. The man has had a very high work ethic, but I must agree with op... He never had the game in his heart. He was tall so he started playing ball in high school which turned into a million dollar career.
I think Bynum does have the game in his heart. IF he didn't, he'd have just retired last summer. Reports are that he sent damn near every NBA team an MRI of his knees and they all passed on him. Team doctors basically said he was done. He could've retired and just walked away with his millions and two championship rings, but instead he kept trying. Eventually the Cavs gave him a chance and signed him to deal that is mostly unguaranteed. He lost 20 lbs this past summer in an effort to take pressure off of his knees so he can play.
IF he didn't have the game in his heart, I don't think he'd be doing all of this to try and get back on the court.
Watched him live at the bobcats opening night and he was MASSIVE. While he may have lost 20lbs over the summer, it must have just been weight gained during his season off because he simply looked thicker than the last two games I watched live when he was a Laker.
I wasn't meaning he simply didn't care about basketball the olowakandi did, otherwise he wouldn't have jeopardized his career playing on a torn meniscus in the finals vs Orlando. What I mean is that he doesn't have basketball as his main focus. He's a guy who plays basketball, not a basketball player. Bynum like to tinker with things, learn about scienc and how things work, go out with his friends and play tons of Call of Duty online.
He cares about the game as shown by his body of work, but not the way a guy who hungers for sport does .