Andrew Bynum Says He's a Shell of His Former Self

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Andrew Bynum Says He's a Shell of His Former Self

Remind me never to hire Andrew Bynum to deliver a motivational speech.

Bynum, who just recently returned to action for the first time since 2011-12, admitted he has considered retirement since he remains frustrated at being a shell of his former self, per the Akron Beacon Journal's Jason Lloyd:

Fox 29's Colleen Wolfe provided a great snapshot of Bynum icing both his knees, further capturing struggles the big man continues to endure.

It should come as little surprise that Bynum has thought about walking away from the NBA.

Before joining the Cleveland Cavaliers, he battled through seven injury-plagued seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. After being named to his first All-Star Game in 2012, he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers over the offseason, a team he never had the opportunity to suit up for.

Cleveland has afforded Bynum a new beginning. Sort of.

Though he's back on the court, his knees are still limiting his production and availability. He's averaging just 12.8 minutes through four games, unable to have more than a negligible impact on their outcomes.

Bynum: Then and Now
Year GP MPG PTS REBS BLKS FG% PER
2011-12 60 35.2 18.7 11.8 1.9 55.8 22.9
2013-14 4 12.8 5.5 3.5 1.3 28.0 13.3

Via Basketball-Reference.

Clearly not helping things is his return to Philly. Speaking with reporters, Bynum revealed that he planned to play when the Cavs take on the Sixers, and ultimately embarked on an abrasive little rant about being booed by the fans.

"I think they'll probably boo, but that's their choice," he said, according to philly.com's Keith Pompey. "It wasn't my choice to get rid of me. I don't feel bad at all. . . . If I was not hurt, I would've played. That's really the end to that story."

Bynum's demeanor is part of the reason why he has always been so difficult to believe in. Either he's too immature or too distant, caustic in his approach to the media, his work ethic and the game of basketball. For once, it would be refreshing to see Bynum get angry, to appear determined.

Only 26, he still has time to resurrect his career. If he can remain healthy, there's no reason he cannot be a contributor to a contending team. Will he ever be what he once was? A promising prospect, defensive stud and All-Star? Probably not.

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Greg Oden's name still springs to mind when Bynum's is mentioned. There's no escaping past injuries, especially when they've proven repetitive. On some level, Bynum will likely be on a minutes cap and games restriction for the rest of his career. And he must come to terms with that. 

An inability to adjust to his new role and revised ceiling won't do him any good. Subscribe to that mindset, and he'll spend the rest of his days chasing a former self he just can't catch.

 

*All stats in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference and NBA.com unless otherwise attributed, and are accurate as of November 7, 2013.

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