On February 1, 2014, the Indiana Pacers signed big man Andrew Bynum to a $1 million contract for the remainder of the season.
Bynum, oft regarded as troublesome and disengaged with the game, stands at 7’1″ and weighs in at about 285 pounds. He possesses a smooth offensive game with the ability to post-up and power through his defenders. The longtime Los Angeles Laker is a strong rebounder and an above-average rim-protector. He used to average a double-double in points and rebounds.
Following his signing with Indiana, the media – local and national – jumped all over the story. Opinions were shared, players and coaches were interviewed, and heck, even some members of the Miami Heat were asked their thoughts.
Miami players such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Greg Oden seemed to care less about it. Why should they care? They have their own team to focus on and ought to care less about the Pacers.
All the attention is centered around a Pacers-Heat matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals again, but that isn’t a guarantee. Thus, no reason whatsoever Miami players should give a hoot about what Indiana is doing.
Rumor was the Pacers signed Andrew Bynum to keep him away from the Heat. When mentioned to Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird, he responded, “That’s probably about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
Good answer, Mr. Bird.
Bird and head coach Frank Vogel met with Bynum and his agent over dinner in downtown Indianapolis before the deal was made official. Larry Legend and Vogel liked what they heard and made an offer. Enough said.
The Pacers went out and signed a guy they thought could help the team. Some also jumped straight to the conclusion that Bynum would replace current backup center Ian Mahinmi in the rotation. Certainly a possibility, but again, not a guarantee.
Andrew Bynum must first get into shape through workout and conditioning. Team officials have already stated he’s a “few weeks out” from suiting up for a game.
I thought I would wait a few days after the signing to make these facts clear about the whole situation. The Pacers did what they did, and Bynum is going to be Bynum. We’re all human, we make decisions and see how they work out.
There should be no reason for anyone to jump to conclusions because no final conclusion can me made until Bynum makes – or doesn’t make – an impact on the team. I will say one thing: Bird wouldn’t have signed him if he didn’t think Bynum could help the team in a positive way. If Bynum screws up, the Pacers release him; end of story.