The NBA: Andrew “Big Joke” Bynum

There’s a running joke in the NBA right now, and it goes by the name of Andrew Bynum.

Looking at how things have transpired over the last few months – from Bynum’s being part of the Lakers getting Gasol and the Nuggets getting Andre Iguodala to his knee injuries and injections and now with his bowling alley snafu – it’s hard not to chuckle when one brings up the topic of Bynum’s impact on the Philadelphia 76ers.

It goes without saying that news of Bynum donning a Philly jersey sent shockwaves throughout Pennsylvania. Bynum has long been regarded as one of the most talented young big men in the game, and that all he needed was a lot more burn and a lot more touches to really reach the uppermost echelon of the Association. Last year’s All-Star stint, All-NBA Second Team selection, and end-of-the-year numbers were career highlights (18.7ppg, 11.8rpg, and 1.9bpg in 35.2 minutes of play).

Perhaps a slew of Sixer fans were dreaming of deep playoff runs in May with Jrue Holiday lobbing the ball to Bynum with reckless abandon.

What they didn’t know was they’d get EXACTLY THAT from Bynum – reckless abandon.

Andrew Bynum continues to be one of the biggest
enigmas in the NBA.
(image by Tom Mihalek/AP)

Instead of Bynum putting on a show and helping Philly rise even further in the Eastern Conference, his off-court antics.have put on a show that helped distract the Sixers.

But, after looking at Bynum’s 7-year history in the NBA, can we really call any of this shocking? There’s a reason he was the big man shipped out by the Lakers and NOT Pau Gasol. In fact, there are probably SEVERAL reasons. One of the most compelling is this – he’s just too damn immature.

“His back was turned to everyone in the Lakers' locker room.  Center Andrew Bynum thus showed little regard for any team official or reporter who might approach him.

His heavy metal tunes blared out of his headphones by his locker. Bynum showed how he defiantly violates team rules.

His explanation for the loud music moments before entering the players' lounge hardly sounded contrite. ‘It's my music,’ he said. Bynum showed how he does as he pleases regardless of consequences.”

This is the guy who committed memorable flagrant fouls against Michael Beasley and JJ Barea in the 2010-2011 season. He’s the guy who claimed he’d shoot more threes just to spite people after taking a bad shot in a game against the Warriors last season. He has a propensity to sit out during huddles and miss meetings with team execs.

This is a guy whose history is the stuff from which the deepest redemptive campaigns can occur, but, judging by his latest exploits, it seems he’s light years away from doing even that.

Now, at 6-4, the Sixers are chugging along quite well even without Bynum, and maybe they are better off without him until he gets his stuff straightened out because, frankly, he’s just the biggest joke in the NBA right now.

And everyone’s in on it. Everyone is having a good laugh, especially those in LA and Denver.

Those in Philly? Not so much.

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
Charlotte 102, Milwaukee 98
Ramon Sessions scored 23 points off the bench to lead the Charlotte Bobcats to a 102-98 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. Byron Mullens and Kemba Walker each scored 19 points and Michael Kidd- Gilchrist added 15 points for the Bobcats, who have won four of their last five games. Charlotte, which is 5-4 on the season, had just two wins through nine contests last season. Monta Ellis dropped a game-high 31 points and Mike Dunleavy chipped in with 16 for the Bucks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Kemba Walker seems to poised to breakout this
year if he continues his strong play.
(image by Chuck Burton/AP)

Indiana 96, Washington 89
David West racked up 30 points and the Indiana Pacers kept the Washington Wizards winless on the season by holding on for a 96-89 victory at the Verizon Center. Roy Hibbert amassed 20 points and 12 rebounds to help the Pacers halt a six- game road losing streak and hand the Wizards their first 0-9 start in franchise history, though they had to fend off a furious late rally to prevail. Washington cut a 20-point third- quarter deficit to one with 3 1/2 minutes to play, but ultimately fell short in large part due to West, who put up 20 of his points in the second half and made several big baskets down the stretch. Bradley Beal finished with 18 points, 17 of which came over the final two quarters, and Kevin Seraphin added 13 points for the Wizards, who also couldn't overcome a 35.6 percent shooting display from the field.

Atlanta 81, Orlando 72
Al Horford netted a game-high 15 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks topped the Orlando Magic, 81-72. on Monday at Philips Arena. Louis Williams contributed 14 points off the bench on 6-of-12 shooting, Zaza Pachulia added eight points and 11 boards and Jeff Teague finished with nine points and seven assists for the Hawks, who have won three of their last four games. Glen Davis scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Magic, who have lost seven of their last eight. Jameer Nelson, E'Twuan Moore, Josh McRoberts and Moe Harkless added eight points apiece, while Nikola Vucevic grabbed 13 rebounds in the setback.

Denver 97, Memphis 92
Danilo Gallinari scored 26 points, six of which came in the final two minutes, as the Denver Nuggets stopped the Memphis Grizzlies' eight-game win streak with a thrilling 97-92 victory at FedExForum. JaVale McGee added 15 points, including a key tip-in with 46.7 seconds left that gave Denver a 93-92 lead, and Kenneth Faried put up 13 points and 13 rebounds to help the Nuggets end a three-game slide and prevent the Grizzlies from setting a franchise record for consecutive victories. Rudy Gay netted 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting and Marc Gasol finished with 16 in only Memphis' second defeat in 10 games this season, while Zach Randolph posted another double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Golden State 105, Dallas 101 (OT)
Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Golden State Warriors outlasted the Dallas Mavericks, 105-101, at American Airlines Center. Curry also finished with nine assists and six rebounds, while Harrison Barnes and David Lee each contributed a double-double for the Warriors, who have won three of their last four. Barnes had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Lee recorded 17 points and 19 boards. O.J. Mayo dropped in 27 points to pace Dallas, which has lost five of seven. Chris Kaman had 18 points and 17 rebounds, while Troy Murphy poured in 12 points off the bench in defeat.

LA Clippers 92, San Antonio 87
Chris Paul scored 19 points and hit a clutch bucket in the closing seconds, helping the Los Angeles Clippers upended the San Antonio Spurs for the second time this season with a 92-87 win on Monday. The Clippers never trailed in the second half, but a late rally by the Spurs cut the difference to 89-87 with under 90 seconds to play. After misses at both ends, Paul took Tony Parker to the hole and hit a turnaround jumper in the lane with 24.9 seconds remaining. Gary Neal's missed 3-pointer ended San Antonio's comeback bid and extended the Clippers' winning streak to six, which began with a 106-84 rout of the Spurs on Nov. 7. Paul also had eight assists, while Blake Griffin added 16 points and 12 rebounds and Matt Barnes chipped in 14 points off the bench for Los Angeles, which at 8-2 is off to its best start since the 2005-06 campaign. Tim Duncan recorded a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Manu Ginobili totaled 15 points, five boards and five helpers for the Spurs, who shot 35 percent from the field in their second loss in three games. Parker was limited to 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

Utah 102, Houston 91
Gordon Hayward paced five double-digit scorers with 15 points as the Utah Jazz downed the Houston Rockets, 102-91, at EnergySolutions Arena. Randy Foye and Al Jefferson each contributed 14 points, Marvin Williams netted 12 and Paul Millsap poured in 10 for the Jazz, who stretched their home win streak to 10 straight games. Jefferson also grabbed 16 rebounds. Patrick Patterson scored 19 points and Chandler Parson had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, which dropped its third consecutive game. James Harden had six points, three assists and two rebounds before leaving the game in the second quarter with upper respiratory distress.

Gordon Hayward continues his emergence as one of
the main men for the Jazz.
(image by Rick Bowmer/AP)

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