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

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny stick around as Flyers send 10 to Phantoms

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny stick around as Flyers send 10 to Phantoms

Travis Sanheim, Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny are still alive.

The Flyers reduced their roster to 39 players on Thursday, assigning 10 players to the Phantoms for their separate training camp, which opens on Friday in Lehigh Valley.

There were no major surprises among today’s cuts.

Goaltenders Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon, both of whom were outstanding during exhibition play, report to the Phantoms as the No. 1 and No. 2 candidates in net.

Stolarz had a 1.36 goals against average and .944 save percentage in 88 minutes of game action. Lyon had a 0.67 GAA and .972 save percentage in 90 minutes of playing time.

Together, they teamed up for the 2-0 victory on Wednesday against the Devils (see 10 observations).

Also assigned were defenseman Robert Hagg and Reece Wilcox, plus forwards Radel Fazleev, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Tyrell Goulbourne, Corban Knight, Danick Martel and Mark Zengerle.

After four games in three nights, the entire camp roster had a complete off-day on Thursday.

Sanheim and Provorov have stood out on defense with the latter virtually certain to make the team.

Konecny was very impressive in exhibition play on Wednesday (see story), and will be given a long leash in camp because of the competition at forward.

Both he and Provorov are just 19 and can only go back to junior if they don’t make the final cut with the Flyers.

Schultz injury
Wednesday’s announcement that veteran defenseman Nick Schultz would miss 4-7 days with a lower body injury — a minor MCL sprain of the knee, according to sources — means extra opportunity for several younger defensemen.

Remember, Radko Gudas still is not 100 percent, but getting close to it with his right wrist (fracture). The two benefactors here could be Sanheim and Sam Morin. Provorov was going to be around until the very end, anyway.

The Flyers have four preseason games remaining. Schultz is expected to return for at least one of the final two games.

Inside Golf
The weekly 30-minute segment will feature the Flyers Celebrity Golf Tournament and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation when it airs on CSN on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 10 a.m.

Harry Donahue visited Trump National Golf Course in Pine Hill, NJ earlier this month to catch up with the Flyers. Others on hand are Mark Messier and ESYHF President Scott Tharp, plus Snider Hockey Chairman of the Board Bill Whitmore to learn about Snider Hockey.

The event raised over $1.6 million. You can catch the broadcast on CSN on Oct. 3 and Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. It will also air on TCN on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 3 at 5 p.m.

Nerlens Noel thinks he and Ben Simmons can be a lockdown defensive duo

Nerlens Noel thinks he and Ben Simmons can be a lockdown defensive duo

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers' abundance of big men lends itself to numerous combinations in the frontcourt.

On Thursday, Nerlens Noel had his first experience playing with Ben Simmons. The center gelled with the rookie forward.

"It's a great duo, I think," Noel said following the morning practice session of training camp at Stockton University.

Noel has been paired with many big men during his career with the Sixers. Last season, he faced the challenge of playing out of position at times with Jahlil Okafor. The logjam prompted him to speak out about the current makeup of the roster (see story).

After playing with Simmons, Noel saw how the two can share the court.

"I think we complement each other very well, especially on the defensive end," Noel said. "He's definitely a lockdown type defender that digs in."

Even though Simmons has yet to play an NBA game, Noel already envisions how he can help the Sixers.

"He just plays basketball the right way," Noel said. "When your big man does that, it makes it a lot easier because he is very versatile being a point-forward type. That opens up a lot of things for him to be able to open up for his teammates."