Why all the secrecy around Bynum's injury?
Bob Cooney, Daily News Staff Writer
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 1:23 AM
BOSTON - At the 76ers' shootaround on Friday morning at TD Garden, I saw team general manager Tony DiLeo standing courtside. Since we were told on Oct. 24 that all updates on the health of Andrew Bynum would come through DiLeo, I asked him whether he could give an update. I was directed by him to ask public relations director Mike Preston. When asked, Preston said there is no update, so DiLeo wouldn't be talking. It was the second time during the week reporters asked about the health of the Sixers' prized possession (the Inquirer's Bob Ford asked in New Orleans), only to be quickly told both times "no update."
Preston is just doing his job, no question about that. Coach Doug Collins isn't answering Bynum questions, which is understandable, as he and his staff must concentrate on the team they have now and how they can win games with the players taking the court every day.
But why the secrecy from the higher-ups about Bynum? Why can't DiLeo let us know whether Bynum is on the new, weight-bearing treadmill that seemingly was brought to the Sixers' practice facility specifically for him? Or whether he is taking to the court with his team at any time to observe? Or whether he is working out on his own to sharpen his basketball skills? Or maybe how much longer they think the "non-basketball activities" rule will be in place?
Since the new ownership, led by Josh Harris and Adam Aron, took over, it has been all about improving the relationship between the fans and the organization. The owners already had a coach in place whom the fans adored from his playing days in the 1970s and '80s and from his undeniable knowledge as an NBA analyst. Then they made it more affordable for fans to come see games and listened to suggestions about the in-game experience for fans and improved it tremendously. All the while, Aron tweeted endlessly about how the group is all about winning and doing whatever it takes to be relevant again. Then they acquired Bynum in a blockbuster, four-team deal and that sort of cemented what was being said.
Some may roll their eyes at the "Look what we've done" connotation often stemming from Aron's tweets, but it was hard to argue, because the new ownership was making moves to both improve the team and please the fans.
Now, the ownership has completely dropped the ball in regards to Bynum. The whole situation, with him suffering a bone bruise during a workout before training camp to perhaps being able to practice before the season to not giving regular updates is just wrong. If ownership wanted pats on the back - and it deserved them - when acquiring Bynum, it at least should be up front enough to answer the questions fans want answered about his injury. The only way fans get those answers, of course, is through the media. So what if he is slow recovering from his injury? What's wrong with saying so? What is wrong with telling the fans the truth?
Getting Bynum was a risk; everyone knew that when it happened. But it is only a 1-year contract, and if it all works out, good for them. If it doesn't and Bynum can't play much this season and ultimately moves on, well, so be it. But what's wrong with being honest?
Sure, more behind-the-scenes stuff probably goes on than we will never know. And Bynum is looking to get a huge contract, so getting on the court when he is not feeling totally healthy would be a big risk for him.
But we don't know anything, because that's the way the owners seem to prefer handling this situation.
We'll let you know as soon as we find out, as soon as ownership realizes that the fans not only want to know what's going on, they deserve to know.
This article pretty much sums up what I talked about in my previous posts. Instead of giving straight answers, they just prefer not to talk about the issue at all. Can't argue with their strategy, especially since Philly is currently 3-2 in a tough Atlantic Division battling with the Knicks, Celtics, and Nets for position. It's probably helping in terms of keeping any distractions at bay.