Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins says Andrew Bynum is nowhere near ready to play in the NBA.
Bynum practiced with the team for the first time since being acquired in August, and Collins said of Bynum’s performance:
“He looked like a guy who hadn’t played in nine months. I don’t think any bells and whistles should be sent off that he’s close to playing.”
Collins then went one step further, blaming Bynum for a bad team practice. According to the head coach:
“It’s amazing seeing him standing out there; he distorted the whole practice. You get visions of what might’ve been … He’s said that he’s going to play, but this season is slipping away. We’ve got 24 games after (this weekend). We’re eight (games) under .500, and we’ve got to play the Miami Heat four times.”
Bynum has been battling bone bruises on both knees, which has required rehabilitation and lubrication injections.
Earlier in the week, Andrew Bynum told reporters:
“I’ll definitely be back sometime this year. I’m focused on getting back and being right versus trying to rush.”
The Philadelphia 76ers had hoped to have Andrew Bynum in the lineup by the All-Star break. The team is currently suffering through various losses including Jason Richardson, who is out for six to nine months following knee surgery.
The team’s issues mounted after they agreed to allow Bynum’s New York-based doctor to lead his treatment. In a head scratching moment, the team even decided to give Bynum control over progress reports for his knees.
Despite knee problems, Andrew Bynum played in 60-of-66 games for the Los Angeles Lakers last season.
When asked about the real progress Bynum has made, Collins proclaimed:
“You should talk to him. I don’t want to be the messenger because they shoot messengers.”
Do you think Andrew Bynum will make a successful return to the NBA?