“Pain-free” Bynum Says He’ll Play

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HANG TIME, Texas — Opening night in Philadelphia could now be just a month away.

That is, opening night for the team the Sixers thought they had put together when they made the blockbuster deal for Andrew Bynum last summer.

Or perhaps more realistically, opening night for the 2013-14 season.

For the first time in ages, there is more to report than an update on the 7-footer’s hairstyle as Bynum made the first step toward finally playing in a Sixers uniform when he got onto the court for a basketball workout with associate head coach Michael Curry and athletic trainer Kevin Johnson.

Bynum was seen by Philly reporters shooting jumpers from the wings and the baseline on Monday. No running, no jumping and certainly no slam dunking.

No bowling therapy either.

But following a seemingly endless series of setbacks with injuries to both knees, Bynum at last said he now has his sights set on playing this season.

“I have no idea exactly, I just want to get back,” he said. “I think, I’m hoping around the All-Star break. That’s what I’m hoping.  I have no idea exactly when I’ll be back.”

The All-Star break ends Feb 20 and the Sixers would then have 31 regular season games left to play.

Currently sitting at 16-22 and ninth in the Eastern Conference standings, it would be strictly fantasy to think Bynum could lift the Sixers into the playoffs and then make them a real force once they got there.

But since one, then two bad knees kept him from being ready at the start of the season, that was never the significant part of the story. The Sixers need to know how fit and how capably Bynum can play over the final month or so of this season before committing themselves to him for the next five years with a max level contract.

The Philly front office says it has a plan to move forward no matter how things turn out with Bynum. But let’s face it, having a 7-footer who could immediately be the best center in the East, is the preferred way to start.

With Jrue Holiday having a breakout year and Evan Turner taking steps forward, putting Bynum in the lineup would make things interesting in Philly for the final 30 or so games of the season.

But these are very small steps. For now, Bynum’s conditioning workouts are only on a treadmill and a machine that lessens that effect of gravity.

“I went as fast as eight miles per hour,” he bragged.

The important part is that Bynum is no longer feeling pain in his knees.

It’s minimal,” he said. “It’s not hurting.”

The next step is to add straight line running and then lateral movements.

Bynum was asked if he felt like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders by returning to practice.

“No, because I’m not back,” he said. “But I’m going in a a good directions. It’s all positive.”

Opening night could be around the corner.

29 Comments

  1. redticket says:

    Bynum will do fine. I used to ache too, but no more!

  2. Shaun says:

    well, at leat he can shoot free throws, so #hacktheguywhocannotshoot strategy won’t work on him LOL

  3. Mitch says:

    So does he have Osteochondritis Dissecans or something else?

  4. Wilt #13 says:

    Even though I think that bynum can be top 10 centers of all time ONLY IF HE DIDINT have those knee problems…
    I mean its really rough to see a guy with so much talant but so many knee issoues.
    But its still great news to hear him saying that he is feeling at his best.
    But he still need to make a name for himself.. I dont see him as the best center or even top 10 Center in the 2012-2013 season… I know he didnt play but i dont see him being dominet this season.. Maybe next season its gonna be the sixers making a run or something.
    Best luck and keep yourself safe.

    • BIGMatta23 says:

      So you think that Bynum can crack into a list that includes – Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Olajuwon, D Robinson, Ewing, Shaquille, Walton, Moses Malone, Reed…even Mutombo and Howard, George Mikan. ? Interesting

  5. mamba's in says:

    I’m a laker fan & Bynum has become one of my favorite player even he’s been moved to sixers, can’t wait to see him play & dominate in the EAST!!!!

  6. Eaglos says:

    Best center based on what, his stat in NBA 2k13 or his potential on paper?
    If he doesn’t do something drastically different, he will always be one of
    those players with great potential that never made it.

    The fact that Lakers traded him for a center that is worse in offence and
    has a long history of injuries should say something about “the greatest
    center of all time”…

    Anyway, best of luck.

  7. Jose (Clipper Nation) says:

    Tolerate lol. Anyway If I was a philly fan I’d be excited. Bynum is young and he can score. Wasn’t he consdered the second best center in the NBA last year or the year before? Clippers better steal him if Philly don’t sign him.

  8. Jumppong says:

    Did the Lakers do the right thing when they traded Bynum?? for Howard??… what do you think??

  9. KobeWinner says:

    “There’s no cartilage”

  10. JoheikeMapa says:

    Bynum the best center right now I AGREE!!!!!!

  11. Stan says:

    Bynum needs some good mental stimulation to get him motivated also, because if he is right he can change the game for your team. The Lakers would have lost in the first round last year without Bynum and now they won’t even make the playoffs since they traded him. I hope he can come back and play at the top of his game which is total domination inside.

  12. prix says:

    Bynum is big and strong…but his heart is like a cotton candy…dont have a killer instict to win games…I’d say Mark Gasol will just play him around all night or even K Perk will bully him…everything will all happens in close out games…

    • KB24 says:

      Perkins? really? Perkins has been worthless for like 3 years now, he’s one of the worst centers in the league. All he had was his defense and even that is pretty mediocre right now. Honestly OKC could get rid of him and they would be just as good

      • TheStarMiddleschooler says:

        ROFL PERKINS? what are you smoking? perkins is lame i could out rebound perkins and push him around in the post Bynum is the best center in the league right now with D12 being a compleate moron with people signing pititons (not sure i spelled it right) to take off his headband so really? just really? Marc Gasol? who is that? hes not good but not bad hes a punk

  13. LakersWillWin says:

    Awesome news for the Philly organization. Maybe with the weight of a Franchise on his shoulders, his maturity level will begin to rise. I think Bynum is a way better offensive player than Dwight, but defensively he doesn’t even come close. This isn’t about comparisons though, I am genuinely happy he is feeling better. Again, I want to see how he performs while being the “man.” No Kobe to defer to, just himself. Congratz Philly, even with the injuries you did come up pretty nicely for Iggy.

  14. 2e says:

    It sounds like music to my ears. I wish him luck. I still have his signed jersey and signed basketball displayed in my home. I don’t think I will take them down even if he decides to become a Clipper. Philly fans – you will enjoy watching him play as we did at Staples Center. Once he comes back I will watch all of the Philly games.
    Lakers fan.

  15. Mat says:

    Bynum is ganna be good

  16. Cut his hair off says:

    Now cut that hair off

  17. me says:

    U don’t have to write this story with all the stupid sarcasm..

    • George says:

      Yup, the sarcasm and the tone makes this one of the worst articles I’ve read on the NBA site in a long time.

  18. Game Time says:

    Pain free, but still a pain in the…

  19. big cat says:

    watch out people one of the greatest centers of all time is back , philly will be a top 3 team in the east when he gets back

  20. W/E says:

    it will take like 2 or 3 NBA games to get his kness swollen and get back on the inactive list again where he trully belongs

  21. Patty says:

    Great News about Bynum. Go Bynum!!!