Cleveland’s decision to sign center Andrew Bynum ended when the Cavs suspended the 26-year-old for conduct detrimental to the team before trading him to the Bulls for Luol Deng and picks. The Bulls didn’t pick up the second half of his incentive-laden contract, and after a few weeks in limbo, the Pacers snagged him as a free agent. A recent report from Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reveals a certain anecdote that explains his post-haste departure from Cleveland.
Only Bynum never made it to the early January guarantee date for his full $12.5 million salary in 2013-14, and self-destructed. He stopped trying on the floor, and became a disruptive presence in practices. Before Bynum was thrown out of his final practice and suspended, he was shooting the ball every time he touched it in a practice scrimmage, sources said – from whatever remote part of the court he had caught the ball.
Imagine practicing with a guy that just jacks the ball whenever he touches it? Imagine Mike Brown trying to coach a guy that won’t pass the ball to his teammates? Bynum’s personal peccadilloes off the court aren’t nearly as hurtful to a team as his actions on the court in Wojnarowski’s story. He just gave up and basically pouted his way out of Cleveland after failing to play a minute in Philadelphia the season before.
We don’t hold out much hope he’ll fare any better in Indiana, but at least the Pacers — and President Larry Bird — will have the ability to dump him at their leisure. We doubt he figures prominently in their playoff plans, anyway, nor should he with his disappointing track record.
Will Bynum self-destruct in Indiana as well?
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