He has yet to put on his new club’s uniform and he could have easily gotten caught up in the moment; However, the “Philadelphia Inquirer” reported that new Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum, got the fans cheering at the press conference that introduced him to the city on Wednesday. The club held the press conference at the Constitution Center and in an unconventional move, allowed the fans to attend the event. The big man, who came to the Sixers last week from the Los Angeles Lakers, in a four team trade got the fans excited when he said “To be honest, my first experience here’s been so great, I’m really leaning toward to making this my home.”
Bynum will become an unrestricted Free Agent at the conclusion of the campaign and it is highly doubtful that he would sign an extension before the season is over for a myriad of reasons. The club’s brain-trust mission next season, will be to convince the 24-year-old All-Star, that he has found a new long-term home; where he can help the squad win the NBA Finals.
The 76ers will be Bynum’s team; as he and talented young point guard Jrue Holiday, will be the focal points of the team’s offense. The big man told the crowd that he is ready to step out of the huge shadow of former teammate Kobe Bryant. He said “It’s the next step in my career. It’s a lot more exciting and a lot more fun knowing they are going to run through you. Looking at the roster, we have a deep team. The sky is the limit.”
That statement shows the maturation that Bynum has undergone in the past couple of years. A few years back, when confronted at the Lakers training camp with rumors that he might be starting the campaign playing off the bench, he told reporters that if that was the situation, he would be fine with it. His attitude was he would be getting the same paycheck; without having to withstand the pressure of being in the starting rotation. Perhaps the experiences and the personalities, he has encountered over the last few years have made him ready to grab the leadership role on his new team.
It maybe just coincidence, but 30-years-ago this Summer, the Sixers signed Free Agent All-Star center Moses Malone, who was a key part of the team winning the NBA Finals the next season. Philadelphia’s current roster suffers in comparison to that team and Bynum is no Moses Malone, however he could become a key piece in the team, a few years from now, winning their first NBA Title since Moses, the Doctor and Maurice Cheeks grabbed the brass ring in 1983.