76ers president: Bynum injury ‘bizarre’
by Jason Wolf, USA TODAY Sports
PHILADELPHIA — Sixers president Rod Thorn called Andrew Bynum’s injury situation “bizarre” and confirmed that insurance would reimburse the organization for at least a portion of the one-time All-Star center’s $16.9 million salary this season.
“There is a league-wide insurance that he’s under that gives you some relief along those lines,” Thorn said before the Sixers played the Miami Heat on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center. “It’s the same league-wide program that every player’s under. Unless you have a pre-existing condition — and he didn’t — so he’s on the same one as everybody else.”
The 7-foot, 300-pound Bynum has been sidelined by bone bruises and damaged cartilage in his knees since September and appears unlikely to play at all this season. The Sixers acquired Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team trade in August. Philadelphia dealt All-Star swingman Andre Iguodala, first-round draft picks Nik Vucevic and Moe Harkless and a protected future first-round pick in order to land Bynum.
That Bynum’s salary is at least partially insured lends credence to the team’s assertion that four doctors reviewed his medical history and approved the trade. Sixers co-owner and CEO Adam Aron has said that six doctors have actively treated Bynum throughout the season.
Bynum was originally diagnosed with a bone bruise in his right knee in September and with a “mirror issue” in his left knee in November, when a piece of cartilage broke loose and his joint swelled after going bowling. The Sixers expected Bynum to be ready to play in the season opener, but as the season progressed, the team and player repeatedly delayed the date of his expected debut.
“It’s a little bizarre, there’s no doubt about it,” Thorn said about Bynum’s inability to get on the court. “He’s had problems. He’s worked very hard. As you can see when you see him, he’s huge. His upper body, he works in the weight room, he works hard, he just hasn’t been able to play. It’s been very tough for him and obviously it’s been very tough for us.”
Bynum will become an unrestricted free agent in July, when he’s hoping … [For more on 76ers president: Andrew Bynum injury situation 'bizarre', click here.]