NBA

Bynum sits, Iguodala awaits in 76ers' opener

Share This Story

   
 

PHILADELPHIA (AP)

Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bynum will forever be linked in the same transaction.

The All-Stars weren't traded straight up - yes, it took four teams, 10 other players, and five draft picks to move Iguodala from Philadelphia to Denver and Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers to the 76ers - but in Philly, the trade is viewed through a one-for-one prism.

Without a game played, Sixers fans say their team came out on top.

While Bynum remains indefinitely sidelined with a bone bruise in his right knee, the Sixers faithful would have traded Iguodala for some warm bodies to fill the training camp roster.

Credit general manager Tony DiLeo and team president Rod Thorn for getting so much more for Iguodala, a player who had come to represent the mediocrity that plagued the Sixers until last season's surprising run to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Iguodala was a solid player for nine seasons with the Sixers, playing a full 82 games in five of them, and was easily their top perimeter defender. He was one of the flashier dunkers in the league and his long road toward stardom was rewarded last season with his first All-Star berth and a gold medal in London playing for the star-studded U.S. men's team.

He was just never fully embraced by Philly fans.

His biggest moment came last season after Iguodala sank the winning free throws with 2.2 seconds left in a 79-78 victory over the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in Game 6, helping them advance to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since 2003.

Iguodala hopped on the scorer's table and played to the crowd as the catchy 76ers' anthem blared in the arena.

The fans went wild and, for a moment, he was the most popular athlete in Philly.

It's the highlight the Sixers will surely play in a video tribute to Iguodala before the Nuggets open the season at Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

The video might be the only reason almost 20,000 fans don't boo him out of the building.

Iguodala criticized the way coach Doug Collins handled him and said he didn't enjoy basketball most of the last two seasons. He told CBSSports.com his enthusiasm from last season was dampened because he found criticism ''draining.''

Well, that won't endear him to anyone in his return to Philadelphia. Not that he cares.

''I really haven't thought about it,'' Iguodala said.

Asked in Denver if he hoped he'd be cheered, Iguodala said, ''I really don't care. It's just basketball.''

Collins, starting his third season coaching the 76ers, took the high road discussing Iguodala.

''He left on a very high note, which is the thing I'm very happy about,'' Collins said. ''The two years that I was here, what we did, he was such a huge part of it. I'm sure Dre's going to want to come in here and win.''

Iguodala's return will be overshadowed by Bynum's absence.

The 25-year-old Bynum will sit out the opener as he recovers from the bone bruise that has plagued him since before the start of training camp. Bynum was held out of all preseason activity and the Sixers ran their offense without him, instead of through him, for the last month.

Bynum told the Sixers he could play with the pain he's feeling. The Sixers are being cautious with Bynum and refuse to rush him back. They'd rather have the services of the center considered the best in the East for the long haul instead of a few games, or even a few weeks, at the start of the season.

Bynum is coming off his best NBA season after averaging career highs with 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds while making his first All-Star team, starting for the West. He was the NBA's third-leading rebounder and 20th-leading scorer, while also ranking sixth in the league with 1.93 blocked shots per game.

''I know one thing, I know he wants to play right now,'' Collins said. ''We have to really be smart in all the things we do in help him monitor that situation. Sometimes, an athlete's competitive heart can get the best of him.''

The Sixers said Tuesday that Bynum has started low-impact conditioning work, and will be re-evaluated by medical personnel on a continuous basis. Bynum shot 3-pointers while his teammates egged him on following a late practice at the Wells Fargo Center.

''He's feeling a lot better and his spirits are better,'' Collins said Tuesday. ''That's all positive stuff.''

Collins said power forward Thaddeus Young and center Lavoy Allen will start.

They're a nice duo for sure, but the Sixers aren't an Atlantic Division contender without Bynum.

---

Follow Dan Gelston on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APgelston

Tagged: Nuggets, 76ers, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bynum

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

LeBron's going home to Cleveland Posted: Jul 11, 2014
Miami Heat beat writer Ira Winderman breaks down LeBron's decision to return hom...

Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Jenny Taft reports on LeBron returning to Cleveland. Check out th...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..