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Pray for Andrew Bynum? Yeah right


After some thoughtful deliberation, I’ve come to the conclusion that the worst $259 dollars I’ve ever spent in my 35-year existence was the cash I shelled out for a six-game Sixers package I split with my friend this year.


We have one more game- next week against the Bucks. I am seriously contemplating selling it on StubHub for .02 cents- just to see if I get a bite.


I’ve been a 4 for 4 guy for most of my entire life when following Philadelphia sports, and after last night, the Philadelphia 76ers officially clinched the award for “Most idiotic and disrespectful franchise towards their fans in Philadelphia.”  This award was really close, but at the end of the day, the Phillies have eternally redeemed themselves for a decade-plus of solid baseball.Andrew Bynum photo: Bryan Anderson/AP 


As bad as this Sixers team has been this year, it was something Doug Collins mentioned at his press conference that pushed me over the edge in regards to Philadelphia’s "favorite son" Andrew Bynum, who surprisingly (snicker) will miss the rest of the season after it was determined he needed arthroscopic surgery on both knees. If you don’t feel like clicking on the link, you can just read what Collins said in the post-game conference below.


“It’s been a tough year for Andrew. I’ve talked about this before... as a man who suffered injuries, as a young player, it’s devastating. I can only imagine what’s racing through his mind right now. I hope we all keep him in prayer. He’s not played for us this year, but he’s still a 76er.”


First off, keep Bynum in (gulp)....prayer?  Sorry coach. You have my utmost respect and I know you’re a religious man. But keep him in prayer? (I shudder just typing it). For what?  No way. Not a chance in “you know what.”


Second, isn’t a Sixer (as their slogan indicates) supposed to be.........Passionate. Intense. Proud?


Sorry, but I just don’t see that from Andrew Bynum. At all.


Apparently even Bynum’s high school coaches don’t have many pleasant things to say about him. He’s barely spoken to the press this year, and when he has, he’s been elusive and indifferent. No, I’m not in the locker room, but I also don’t go bowling with him when he’s supposed to have bad knees.


Either way, he’s not a Sixer. Wilt, Doc, Charles, Moses, Mo Cheeks, and yes even Allen Iverson. THOSE are Sixers.

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I have three questions about this debacle of a trade:


1. Did the Lakers know how banged up Bynum really was before they dealt him?


2. Didn’t the Sixers look into Bynum’s history of knee issues before making this deal?


3. Did Bynum become injured after arriving to the team? You know, like when he went bowling?


4. Does Bynum even give a crap about playing basketball again? 


Not that my opinion matters, but I don’t doubt Bynum is hurt. That’s not the issue here. It’s how the Sixers as well as Bynum handled everything. Is it as simple as the fact that Bynum was hesitant to rush back early from an injury that serious? Maybe this wouldn’t even be an issue if Bynum’s reputation wasn’t what it is.


But oh yeah, he might have reinjured his already injured knee while bowling!!


Don’t get me wrong, I praised this deal when it happened. However, whether it’s their fault or not, this is truthfully THE WORST possible scenario that could happen to Adam Aron and the Sixers organization. If they just didn’t buy the team, chances are they might entertain the possibility of getting out of town. It’s THAT bad. This kind of moment could single-handedly make or break a franchise. While they can’t control the health of their players, they can hold their staff accountable. This season historically redefines the term “major damage control.” 


First off, Philly is a blue collar town. Bad economy or not, they don’t take too kindly to players like Bynum, who appear to be “phoning it in” after such high expectations (remember the National Constitution Center in August?).


You can also plug yours truly into that disapproving group of citizens. After all, in case you haven’t heard the news, I might be out of a job in a few weeks.


Poor Andrew.


But I digress............


An even crazier move would be if the Sixers actually contemplate bringing Bynum back on a smaller salary- much, much smaller than the $16.9 million insurance will now reportedly pick up because he failed to play a minute this season. Yes, $16.9 million to pretty much go bowling and try out different hairstyles on his head.....at the same time.


Because the Mavericks and Rockets are reportedly interested in pursuing him, the team just might feel compelled to try to attempt and bring him back. After all, they traded a veteran player (Andre Iguodala), a protected first-round pick, and 2012 No. 1 draft pick Moe Harkless and the promising Nikola Vucevic for Bynum.  You would think they’ve got to get SOMETHING out of this....right?


So in closing, Coach Collins, we can agree to disagree on this. The only praying I’ll be doing right now in is for the Sixers organization to right this ship.


Because if they don’t, this team will officially be on the verge of eternal extinction in this town.


Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Andrew Bynum photo: Bryan Anderson/AP