Will Bynum, Sixers make long-term commitment?


Will Bynum, Sixers make long-term commitment?

The clock is ticking on both the Sixers’ season and Andrew Bynum’s chances of being a part of it.

There are eight weeks remaining and 31 games for the Sixers. Bynum says he is still a couple weeks away from taking part in a full practice (see full story), which is diminishing the number of times fans or the front office will see him in uniform in 2013.

Bynum insists his status of becoming an unrestricted free agent on July 1 has no impact on his timetable to get back in game action.

“I am focused on getting back and getting right, as opposed to being in a rush,” Bynum said after a rigorous workout on Tuesday. “As I have said before, it doesn’t matter to me. I will play anywhere. I just need to be healthy.”

“He will be able to manage the pain as long as he doesn’t get swelling,” Sixers head coach Doug Collins said. “The swelling is what incapacitates you because your joint gets stiff and you can’t move, so if he can keep the swelling out he will be able to manage."

The Sixers want nothing more than a healthy Bynum. After all, they gave up Andre Iguodala, Nik Vucevic, Moe Harkless and a future first-round draft pick for the services of the dominant center.

Iguodala has helped Denver to a 33-21 record, second to Oklahoma City in the Northwest Division and good enough for the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

Vucevic is averaging 12.4 points and 11.5 rebounds as a second-year center in Orlando. Meanwhile, Harkless is just beginning to scratch the surface of his tremendous potential.

The future for those given up by the Sixers in the Bynum trade looks bright. But what about the Sixers’ future with a 25-year-old with knee issues since becoming a pro straight from high school eight years ago?

Bynum admits the pain this time around is greater than his previous injuries. However, he still believes he will get healthy.

“I want to be healthy,” Bynum said. ”I know what I can do. The question is, is my knee going to hold up? That’s something the organization has to think about. All I have to do is think about going out there and putting up buckets.”

Much of what Bynum said Tuesday sounded familiar to prior answers from earlier this season. In addition to the words being redundant, the way in which they are delivered always seems to be in a nonchalant manner.

A franchise’s future, as well as Bynum’s own, are at stake. Yet, ho-hum seems to be the approach for the center who added yet another distracting hairdo to his resume on Tuesday with half-corn-rowed, half-afro look.

There is an understandable need for caution when it comes to Bynum’s return, but shouldn’t a sense of urgency be overlapping that feeling?

The reality soon could very well be that Bynum is on a team out of the playoff hunt. Therefore, playing this season would no longer be viewed as a necessity.

It’s tough to tell at this point which party is taking the greater risk -- Bynum or the Sixers organization.

“Would I be a risk? I don’t know because I don’t do risk assessment. That is what the front office does,” Bynum said. “Myself, I know what I can bring and I need to get healthy. Every day I am working out. Every day I am running. Every day I am playing basketball.”

When asked if he envisioned himself being a Sixer beyond this season, Bynum was true to his personality.

“I am wide open,” he said. “I want to play. I am here now and I don't have any problem with the Sixers. They have treated me great this entire time. I have had my trainer here. I have been working with KJ (team trainer Kevin Johnson) and the guys, so there are no bad feelings either way.”

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

It appears the Sixers' frontcourt logjam may not be an issue early on.

Nerlens Noel, who is having surgery Monday for an inflamed plica in his left knee, will miss the first three to five weeks of the season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Noel suffered a left groin injury in the first preseason game against the Celtics and missed the rest of the preseason. While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

It's been an odd start to the season for Noel. The big man was outspoken about his displeasure with the Sixers' frontcourt situation early in camp. With the deadline for Noel's rookie contract extension approaching on Oct. 31, the team has not had conversations about it, according to a report.

The Sixers are already without No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons as he recovers from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. The team will also be without their starting point guard Jerryd Bayless who is dealing with a ligament issue in his left wrist. Bayless won't require surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

Anthem singer at Sixers-Heat game kneels during performance

MIAMI — A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami on Friday night did so while kneeling at midcourt, and opening her jacket to show a shirt with the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

The singer was identified by the Heat as Denasia Lawrence. It was unclear if she remained in the arena after the performance, and messages left for her were not immediately returned.

Heat players and coaches stood side-by-side for the anthem, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. Many had their heads down as Lawrence sang, and the team released a statement saying it had no advance knowledge that she planned to kneel.

"We felt as a basketball team that we would do something united, so that was our focus," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue. We've had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action."

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand for its playing. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports -- and many levels, from youth all the way to professional -- have followed his lead in various ways.

"All I can say is what we've seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in New York earlier Friday, at a news conference following the league's board of governors meetings. "It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do."

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though was aware of Lawrence's actions.

"At the end of the day, to each his own," Ellington said. "If she feels like that's the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her."

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," Tysse wrote on Facebook. "I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability."