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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Bowling doesn’t generally seem like a high-impact sport, or a potential injury risk. That said, Andrew Bynum’s decision to go bowling while unable to play or practice for the Sixers because of a knee injury is a curious one.
When questioned about the decision, Bynum didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. Perhaps his decision to bowl has less to do with whether or not bowling is dangerous for Bynum, and more to do with where basketball is on his priority list.
I sent SLAM Magazine senior editor Tzvi Twersky (follow @TTwersky) a text message on Friday night, asking him if he had heard anything about Bynum injuring his left knee while bowling. As someone who is generally plugged in to these sort of things, I thought he might have some insight.
“I started investigating [the bowling] a little bit,” Twersky said. “And one of the people that I hit, a guy who has played with him before, he texted me back and said ‘I don’t know if that’s true [the bowling], but I do know that I’ve never met another player in the league who likes basketball less [than Bynum].”
“The disclaimer is, I don’t know Andrew like that. From what I hear, he’s a good guy,” Twersky said. “But the fact that I heard this from a guy who has played with him before, it kind of made me think, ‘what’s going on here exactly?’ That’s not the kind of a guy that I necessarily want to be maxing out.
I mean look, I’m sure he’s rehabbing hard, and I know he’s had all of these injury problems. But the fact is, that’s not the kind of thing that people go for in Philadelphia, you know.”
Bynum is in the final year of his contract, and will be an unsrestricted free-agent after this season. To keep him, the Sixers will most likely have to offer him a max deal. What once seemed like an easy decision, has definitely become more complicated.
The Sixers are 6-4, and if it wasn’t clear before, it should be clear now that they will spend a significant portion of this season without Bynum. Jrue Holiday has seemed up to the task, and Thaddeus Young has been steady, while Evan Turner has shown flashes of great play, and flashes of mediocrity. After losing to the Bucks and the then 0-8 Pistons, the Sixers seem back on track.
“I think they’re where they’re supposed to be, considering Andrew’s out,” Twersky said. “I think the Sixers, the ownership, whatever it might be overhyped them this summer. They were preening them around like this. You know, it’s like when you bring your fiancee, and you introduce her to all your friends, and before you introduce her you’re like ‘she’s a model, she’s a beauty queen,’ and you bring her in and she’s a heffer. They oversold her, so people are looking for looking for bigger things than they got. And that’s why people are disappointed, and that’s why attendance is down 2,000 a game.”
The Sixers average attendance during the 2011-12 season was 17,502 per game, and this season’s average is 15,453.
Follow Spike Eskin on Twitter @SpikeEskin.
The Sixers play the Raptors, Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center at 7pm. Tickets can be purchased at sixers.com.