New Cavs center Andrew Bynum admitted today to the media that he has considered retirement and has struggled enjoying the game of basketball with his various injury issues.
Bynum, who just turned only 26 years old, missed the entire 2012-13 NBA season with the Philadelphia 76ers. He then missed this year’s preseason and has played 51 minutes in four out of the first five games for the Cavs.
Here was some key quotes from Bynum today back in Philadelphia, per the full transcript:
Based on that introductory press conference, do you have a sense why fans would be frustrated?
“I really don’t care. My health is my concern. My knees are my knees. They’re not going to get better. They are what they are. And that’s really it.”
Did sitting out for a year help at all?
“I still feel sharp pains. After my dunk (Wednesday), after that, it went down from there. I still have a ways to go.”
Did you consider retiring?
“Yeah, it was a thought. It’s a serious thought. It still is. It’s tough to enjoy the game because of how I am physically. I’m certain I’ll work through that.”
Bynum reiterated his goal for the year is just to play without pain and find joy in the game. Many Cavs fans speculated he was in pain during Wednesday night’s loss to the Bucks when he came down lame after a second-quarter dunk. He returned again as usual in the second half, but was notably sluggish and ineffective.
The former All-Star and NBA champion averaged career-bests 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds under Mike Brown two years ago in Los Angeles. His comments definitely can lead to sympathy from all NBA fans for his situation. The Philadelphia fans likely won’t be as sympathetic on Friday night when he takes the court, but it’s tough for anyone to see a superstar fall to such lows.
For the Cavs, their hope has to be on Bynum’s continued recovery. Perhaps, that means sitting more games, like he’s scheduled to do in Saturday’s contest at home against Philadelphia. But it’ll be interesting to monitor Bynum’s comments to the media as well.
[Related: Mike Brown doesn’t want to hear your excuses]