Andrew Bynum's Public Welcome to Philly Presser Was a Circus (But the Circus Is Awfully Fun)

Andrew Bynum's Public Welcome to Philly Presser Was a Circus (But the Circus Is Awfully Fun)

The whole scene at the National Constitution Center was a bit surreal on Wednesday afternoon.

Andrew Bynum met Sixers Head Coach Doug Collins for the first time earlier in the morning. Just hours later, surrounded by screaming Sixers fans, Bynum was actually asked -- by a reporter, no less -- if he could envision what a parade down Broad Street would be like.

I don't know, but he should probably meet his new teammates first.

[Press Conference Photo Gallery | VIDEO: Bynum: Making Philly His Home]

His prior knowledge of the Sixers team he's joining? "Not much," he said, admitting he looked over the roster *yesterday* and said, "Wow! we're actually pretty deep."

It was a circus. And Adam Aron was the ring leader.

That said, the circus is pretty fun, isn't it?

The crowd of a couple hundred fans that wrapped around the rotunda was impressive and they greeted Bynum with tremendous applause. They even greeted Adam Aaron like some sort of hero with crazy "Thank! You! Adam!" chants -- unheard of; what city am I in?

"I've never experienced something like that," Bynum said of walking through the crowd to the podium. "That's pretty cool, man, the fact that all these fans came out. I'm looking to get it in. This is a golden opportunity for me."

He couldn't get the grin off of his face when he first sat down.

"I just lit up."

The decision to hold the Welcome to Philadelphia press conference for Bynum and Jason Richardson was a unique one, but as far as spectacles go, it most certainly succeeded.

For this one day, Bynum was the pride and joy of Philadelphia sports fans. By all accounts, he doesn't seem too foolish though, realizing that moments like this can be fleeting.

"Hopefully we see all these people back. We want to see them in the arena," Bynum said.

That will be the true test of whether or not Bynum has top-tier star power in Philly. A couple hundred fans showing up and screaming in a museum on your first day at work is pretty remarkable, granted, but whether they truly embrace Bynum as a franchise player worthy of filling an too-often half-empty arena every night remains to be seen. For his part, Bynum is embracing being the man for the first time in his career.

"I haven't been treated like this yet. I've always played with Kobe and Pau and they've kind of been the forefront guys. I've kind of been in the background so now it's a new opportunity and I'm looking forward to it."

He seemed to be excited about getting to have the ball in his hands more frequently and was most confident when talking about adding his size and skill in the middle to the previously lacking Sixers.

"I know this team struggled in the playoffs with rebounding and defense. I can bring that all day to this team. Kind of push us over the top and maybe come out of the East."

Perhaps the only current Sixer with a similar confidence is Evan Turner, but when was the last time a Sixer had that much confidence and could readily deliver on it on a nightly basis? Gotta be No. 3.

As mentioned above, Bynum has yet to meet most of his new teammates, but he is familiar with Spencer Hawes and says he's looking forward to playing alongside him. "I love playing with the twin tower floor. I'm going to fit right in with that with Spencer and myself. Looking forward to it."

Finally, as the circus was ending, all of the basketball questions were asked, and more people started showing up at the National Constitution Center to see the Bruce Springsteen exhibit than a 7-footer. I asked Bynum if he still had that custom-painted purple and gold Dodge Charger (photos).

"I sold it, man. I sold that thing."

As far as cars go though, that one would have fit in nicely at the circus.

The circus is only exciting once in a rare while though. Both Sixers fans and Andrew Bynum hope that excitement translates from the three rings to the hardwood.

Photos by Kevin Drennen for CSN

Instant Replay: Flyers 3, Canucks 2

Instant Replay: Flyers 3, Canucks 2

Box Score

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Flyers passed a freshness test Sunday night — barely.

After building a 3-0 lead in the first 23 minutes, the Flyers held on for a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 at Rogers Arena.

The Flyers were the more rested team. They had two days off here following Thursday’s loss in Edmonton — and a three-day break before the start of the trip.

But they almost allowed the Canucks to come back in their second game of back-to-back home games with only a day’s rest following a grueling six-game United States road trip.

The Flyers (28-24-7) moved within a point of the eighth and final playoff spot, currently shared by Florida and Boston, in the Eastern Conference. The Canucks (26-28-6) were denied a chance to gain ground on the final postseason berth in the Western Conference.

Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Brayden Schenn — who added the goal that proved to be the winner — scored for the Flyers. Two of the three goals came on the power play. Both teams failed to score in the third period.

Markus Granlund and Jannik Hansen replied for the Canucks.

With the win, the Flyers avoided going winless on a three-game tour through British Columbia and Alberta. They posted their first victory in Western Canada in the past nine attempts.

Goalie report
Coach Dave Hakstol showed loyalty in goaltender Michal Neuvirth, after he allowed four goals on his first 12 shots in Thursday’s one-sided loss in Edmonton. The goaltender started off much better Sunday, as he got his toe on Markus Granlund’s dangerous chance from in close early and stopped all eight shots that he faced in the first period.

Power play
Hakstol was looking for the Flyers to rediscover their “swagger” on the power play. He got his wish early as Simmonds jammed in a Shayne Gostisbehere rebound only 5:45 into the game. The puck barely crossed the line but was clearly in, as confirmed by a video review. Vancouver winger Alex Burrows was off for hooking at the time. In the second period, Schenn padded his NHL power-play goals lead as he gave the Flayers a 3-0 lead at 2:38. Schenn scored his 14th power-play goal of the season on a shot from the slot as Simmonds screened Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller. With his goal, Simmonds moved into a tie for second in NHL man-advantage markers with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin. Both players have 12.

Voracek busts his slump
The drought is over for Voracek. The winger busted his scoring slump as he gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead at 2:38 of the second period. The goal was Voracek’s first in 10 games. He had not scored since Jan. 25 against the New York Rangers.

Shayne the unfriendly ghost
Gostisbehere did not live up to his nickname. Ghost was quite visible as he assisted on all of the Flyers’ goals. The Flyers started scoring as Simmonds tipped in Gostisbehere’s point shot during a power play.

Did you notice?
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto had a chance for a rare breakaway with about five and a half minutes left in the first period, but missed a well-placed lead pass as he was coming out of the penalty box. Instead of a scoring opportunity, the missed pass led to an icing call and a face-off in the Flyers’ end.

Report: Sixers, Pelicans had 'similar' package to DeMarcus Cousins deal in place

Report: Sixers, Pelicans had 'similar' package to DeMarcus Cousins deal in place

The Kings and Pelicans made waves after Sunday's NBA All-Star Game with the huge trade that sent superstar DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans.

Sacramento sent Cousins to New Orleans for a package that included rookie Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and first- and second-round picks this in this year's draft.

But the Sixers and Pelicans reportedly were very close recently on deal for a "similar" package in exchange for Jahlil Okafor, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelbourne.

That "similar" package was reportedly minus Hield.

So while the Pelicans are now almost certainly out of the running for Okafor, they've still made an impact on the Sixers in the near future.

Remember, the Sixers have the right to swap picks with the Kings in this year's draft via the Nik Stauskas deal in 2015.

So with Sacramento's brightest star now gone, that pick swap could be looking better and better for the Sixers.

As for Okafor, what does all this mean for his status with the Sixers?