Andrew Bynum to Indianapolis, “I want to play”

The Luol Deng era in Cleveland will last longer than the Andrew Bynum era ever did, but that’s not saying much. Bynum was traded to Chicago for Deng and subsequently cut. The stories started to come out about the end of Bynum’s time in Cleveland shortly thereafter. Bynum had been suspended by the team and told to stay away after he started undermining the coaching staff. Now that Bynum is looking for yet another fresh start, this time in Indianapolis, he admitted some of the things he did to earn his suspension and exit.

Also, Bynum raged against the shoot-first guards. During a practice, Bynum said that he launched a shot from midcourt, clearly out of the rhythm of the offensive play. Another day during a scrimmage, he did not like a call from assistant coach Phil Handy and mocked him as “a horrible referee.”

“Those are the two things I did,” Bynum says. “I did them on purpose because it was over there for me.”

Of course, Bynum couldn’t possibly take the blame without blaming the “shoot-first” guards. And of course Andrew Bynum just wants “a championship.”

Andrew Bynum wants a championship? Am I supposed to be impressed by that? Does that make me think that Andrew Bynum is somehow operating under an understandable missive that allows him to petulantly push his way out of Cleveland?

Bynum wants a championship? Get in line.

And speaking of getting in line, Bynum better try it soon. He’s running out of places to have colorful articles written about a misunderstood player featuring artistic photos in a new jersey with a basketball on his shoulder.

I wonder if Bynum felt even the tiniest bit fraudulent while posing for this photo with the Indianapolis Star.

Andrew Bynum Indy Star

Probably not.

For Cleveland, it doesn’t really matter that much. Bynum wasn’t a part of whatever solution the Cavs were looking for. The Cavs got at least part of a season of Luol Deng out of the experiment, so all’s just as well without Andrew Bynum on the team today.

Still, the Bynum career arc is a crazy one that just happened to have a brief intersection with the city of Cleveland. We’ll see if it turns out to be longer than the flowery column that another city has spent time writing about the weak-kneed seven-footer.


  • Natedawg86

    This has been really frustrating me with professional athletes the last few years. If the team is not doing well they think they should be traded mid season to a playoff contender (tony Gonzalez comes to mind last year when ATL duddenly sucked). These types if guys really bother me. Bunch of spoiled brats that don’t want to work hard and just want to be spoonfed a championship. Bunch of sallies!

  • Robbie

    Tony Gonzalez was asked if he would like to be traded and told the organization no…

  • mgbode

    Tony later admitted that he did ask the organization of they could find a suitable trade. Hard for me to put him in the same class as Bynum though as he was in mostly bad teams his whole career and last year here had already announced would be his last.

  • Wow

    And people wonder why pro athletes get made fun of.

  • Natedawg86

    “You trade me to a team that needs me, that wants to make a serious run in the playoffs and the Super Bowl. You get something in return for a guy who you know won’t be here next year. And the season isn’t going anywhere anyway. That’s rational.” At the trade deadline, Gonzalez sat at a restaurant with his wife and waited to hear which team it would be. When that call never came, he was not happy.


  • Natedawg86

    I am just sick of the players complaining that they should be traded to a better team. When you become a FA, go wherever you want, until then, shut your yapper

  • i;m equally or more sick of national media types (and a majority of fans) not just accepting the ‘i want to play for a winner’ thinking as normal but EMBRACING IT as a ‘sign of a true competitor.’

  • Agreed. Remember when I took a bit of garbage for daring to say that big Z’s last year in MIA chasing a ring was stupid and meaningless? I love Z but what does a last minute ring in a strange city really mean?

  • porckchop

    You’re projecting your feelings of meaning – and meaninglessness – on Z. To you and me a last minute ring in a strange city means nothing. To Z, putting in all the offseason work to prepare, contributing in a meaningful way – not that Juan Howard worlds oldest towel waver way – to your teams accomplishing the highest achievement in your sport, probably has a lot of meaning, and I’m sure that if they had won that ring, years later he would not look at it as a meaningless “trophy hunt”.
    I think it is just part of the disconnect that we fans have from the people that play the game.

  • porckchop

    To be fair to Bynum he didn’t say anything about Cleveland that wasn’t true. Our guards are shoot first, and our coach is incompetent. If you weren’t aware that he doesn’t care that much about basketball and really only likes the money/lifestyle, then you don’t follow basketball. Cash dem Checks has been his mantra since the start, and personally I have no issue with it, in fact I congratulate him. I have no doubt that Bynum’s knees cause pain that ranges from “this really hurts” on a good day to “eye watering pain”, on a bad one. I highly doubt anyone here would be able to “give there all” under those circumstances, and I also don’t think anyone here would turn down 12 million if they knew all they could give was 60%.
    Look at the situation with D’Qwell Jackson. The guy puts in 8 years of hard work for a loser, and when its time for him to reap the monetary benefits of that work, the team cuts him loose. I can bet he’s probably not going to a place like Jacksonville or Oakland, he’s probably going to go somewhere he can enjoy success – and get paid – but I bet he won’t just chase dollars, we’ll see. Point is that he has been overwhelmingly supported by the locals for being a solid professional. Had he asked out of his contract and walked away from that money himself to chase a championship, I guarantee the handwringing criticism would have been deafening.
    The difference between the NFL and NBA is that when a turdball billionaire, signs a contract in the NBA, he actually has to honor it.
    If there was something you had a natural talent for but didn’t particularly care to do it would be hard to fake passion for that thing, but it would be harder still to turn down 50 million dollars from people whose egos are so out of whack they believe they can “make” you care about the thing.

  • Harv 21


  • I’m not getting into this all over again, but I don’t agree with you, and if there’s a disconnect between the players and fans, then that’s something the players need to understand better because they line up to reap the benefits from it.

  • Harv 21

    agree with much of this. I’d add:

    – Even if you’re a lerpy 7 footer, you’re chances of currently being on a NBA payroll, regardless of your age, are staggering. Some estimate it’s as high as 17%.
    That implies the tallest men end up there for the riches, not passion or any great skill other than having a pituitary gland that really got off.

    – We help make a man-child like Bynum (and LeBron, Chris Perez and Albert Belle) by idolizing their talent and ignoring their petulance and immaturity. Until they express that to the local team and fans. Then we say frankenstein is evil, or was created by someone else.

  • porckchop

    So grown adult men should not pursue their own goals and aspirations in order to assuage the irrational feelings of fans? What about the feelings of the fans in Miami whose experience would be enhanced by Z’s decision. Do players have some greater obligation to the team that drafted them? What if the team made a flat out business decision and traded a player to a rival? Where were the fan protests and boycotts demanding that Z not be uprooted from his family and friends so that the organization could better “chase a ring”? Your argument seems to be that professional athletes should suppress their own desires for achievement in order to placate an irrational and fickle fan base and owner that would gladly send that player to a worse situation in order to win a championship.
    If the Cavs hadn’t been able to resign Z and then went on to win a championship, and Z then left Washington to chase a ring with someone would it still be a meaningless ring? Would he have had to take into account the feelings of the Washington fans for whom he played 3 months? Please define the guidelines players should follow when making decisions that affect their own life and happiness.

  • porckchop

    What about Andy? By all accounts he actually likes being here and enjoys living here during season. For 4 straight years we have tried to trade the guy to anyone and everyone. He’s here mostly because of the uncanny ability of his body to break down every Groundhogs day. So this offseason if he begs the team not to pick up his option so he can sign with someone like OKC, or Portland, is he ring chasing? Does he have an obligation to us, even though we as fans spend two solid months burning up the NBA trade machine creating scenarios to dump this poor guy on Sacramento?
    If your boss made it clear every year he would gladly ship you to Milwaukee for someone else to do your job, and customers you work with commented frequently how excited they’d be if you were gone, would you feel the slightest bit of loyalty to your boss or his customers?
    Sorry for dragging this out but I find it unfair for you to paint this as a one way street where players should serve the interests of a single team, and receive nothing in return.

  • I just can’t do this again. Sorry. this is the post I wrote and it was a nuanced take.


  • porckchop

    “For the next 30-50 years as Zydrunas lives out his days as a former professional athlete almost nobody who will matter to him would have actually thought very fondly of his championship run.”
    I’m sorry its not a nuanced take, its you projecting your feelings on things you don’t have any way of knowing about. Are you saying YOU know that Z’s children and family will not be proud of him for winning a championship? That is an absurd thing to say. Ultimately WE got rid of Z first in order to chase a championship? Teams all the time dump long time players without a second thought to loyalty and fans support these moves if it means “winning a championship.” If players are selfish and uncaring of fans perspective its at least half the fault of fans like you who trumpet loyalty and out of the other side of your mouth praise the anyone is expendable mentality as long as we win. You can’t have it both ways