Andrew Bynum, a former professional basketball player, had exhibited the promising potential to become the NBA’s premier big man. He had a successful stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning two NBA championships. However, Bynum was challenged by significant obstacles as his career advanced, resulting in his early retirement from basketball.
In this article, we will discuss what happened to Andrew Bynum, emphasizing his NBA and post-NBA career highlights and analyzing the factors contributing to his early retirement.
Who is Andrew Bynum?
Andrew Bynum, a retired professional basketball player, was born on October 27, 1987, in Plainsboro Township, New Jersey. Bynum showed interest in basketball at a young age and excelled in high school. He attended St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, New Jersey. He played in the 2005 McDonald’s All-American game due to his remarkable performance as a standout player in his junior year.
Despite receiving numerous offers from colleges, Bynum decided to forego college and instead participated in the 2005 NBA draft. He was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 10th overall pick, becoming the youngest player ever drafted.
Bynum faced injuries and limited playing time in his early years in the league but gradually improved, becoming a dominant center. He played a crucial role in the Lakers’ NBA Finals run during the 2007-2008 season, averaging 10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.
Bynum’s improvement continued in the 2009-2010 season, where he helped lead the Lakers to their second consecutive NBA championship while averaging 8.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game during the playoffs.
Despite his promising career, Bynum faced many challenges in the NBA, including injuries and poor decision-making. He was involved in multiple on-court altercations, and his team suspended him several times. In August 2012, the Lakers traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of a four-team deal, which sent Orlando’s Dwight Howard to the Lakers and Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets.
Unfortunately, Bynum never played a single game for the Sixers. He suffered yet another knee injury during the preseason. In the following seasons, he tried to make a comeback with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Indiana Pacers, but his playing time and productivity were limited.
Bynum retired from professional basketball in 2021, leaving a legacy of unfulfilled potential and “what-ifs.” Despite his struggles, people will never forget him as one of his generation’s most promising big men and an essential player in the Lakers’ championship victories.
Andrew Bynum’s NBA Career Highlights
Success and failure characterized Andrew Bynum’s professional basketball career, an absolute rollercoaster ride for the talented athlete. Despite enduring personal and physical setbacks, Bynum shone numerous times in the league.
During the 2007-2008 season, Bynum became a dominant force inside the paint and played a crucial role in the Los Angeles Lakers’ journey to the NBA Finals. The gifted center posted impressive averages of 10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game throughout the playoffs, providing the team with a much-needed presence near the basket. Bynum’s performance in Game 5 of the Finals against the Boston Celtics was particularly noteworthy. He recorded a double-double with 13 points and ten rebounds, leading the Lakers to a vital victory.
Bynum’s excellence continued in the following season, where he continued progressing as a player and played a vital role in the Lakers’ championship triumph. He posted impressive statistics of 8.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game during the playoffs, demonstrating a dominant presence in the paint. In Game 2 of the Finals against the Orlando Magic, Bynum once again recorded a double-double, this time with 17 points and ten rebounds, as the Lakers took a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Bynum’s career peaked during the 2011-2012 season when he received his first All-Star selection and All-NBA Second Team. He posted career-best averages of 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game, cementing his place as one of the league’s most impressive centers.
Regrettably, Bynum’s journey in the NBA was challenging, as he encountered various disciplinary and injury issues throughout his career. He was suspended several times for on-court altercations, including a flagrant foul on Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea during the 2011 playoffs.
Multiple knee injuries also caused him to miss considerable playing time, eventually leading to his early retirement.
What Happened to Andrew Bynum?
Andrew Bynum had a short career due to injuries, disciplinary issues, and personal problems. Despite an impressive start, Bynum’s on-court performance declined, and his health became a persistent concern.
Beginning in the 2008 season, the Los Angeles Lakers prioritized securing a long-term deal for their young center, Andrew Bynum, who had shown great promise in the previous year’s 35 games. However, during the team’s title run, Bynum dislocated his kneecap, temporarily holding his development.
Nevertheless, the Lakers signed Bynum to a four-year, $57 million extension with the expectation that he would build on his dominant performances from the previous season. Unfortunately, injuries plagued Bynum as he suffered a torn MCL during the 2008-09 season. Despite the setback, Bynum’s grit helped the Lakers defeat Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals.
During the 2012-2013 season, the 2005 10th overall pick was involved in a four-team trade that sent him to the Philadelphia 76ers. Andrew Bynum’s contract with Sixers is reportedly a one-year, $16.5 million. Unfortunately, Bynum could not play a single game for the 76ers due to ongoing knee injuries that sidelined him for the entire season.
Bynum’s time in Philadelphia was also marked by controversy, as he faced criticism for his lack of effort in rehabbing his injuries and his behavior off the court. In particular, Bynum was captured on camera bowling instead of attending rehab sessions, which drew the ire of fans and media outlets alike.
After the 2012-2013 season, Bynum signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but injuries and disciplinary issues plagued his tenure with the team. Bynum played in just 24 games for the Cavaliers before being suspended by the team for conduct detrimental to the team.
The Cavaliers then traded Bynum to the Chicago Bulls in a salary dump acquisition, and he soon found himself on the free agency list. In his final days in the NBA, Bynum played only two games for the Indiana Pacers. In 2015, he announced his retirement from professional basketball at 27.
Beyond his struggles on the court, Bynum also faced personal issues off the court. In 2013, he was arrested for allegedly driving his car at high speeds on the wrong side of the road.
Andrew Bynum’s Post NBA Career
The retired Los Angeles Lakers center, Andrew Bynum, has chosen a low-profile approach to his retirement. Nevertheless, he has made appearances at various events over the last decade. During the 2016 NBA Finals series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State, Bynum was sighted among the attendees.
In 2018, Bynum collaborated with NBA trainer Chris Johnson, sparking rumors of his potential return to the game. Despite such speculation, he did not officially return to the court.
Nevertheless, Bynum’s time in the NBA was highly lucrative, with over $70 million in earnings. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has a net worth of $35 million.
Wrapping Things Up: What Happened to Andrew Bynum?
Andrew Bynum had a promising career with the Los Angeles Lakers, which included two NBA championships and an All-Star selection. However, a combination of knee injuries and poor decision-making led to his career’s decline.
He signed a lucrative contract with the Philadelphia 76ers but never played a game for the team due to injury, and his career continued to spiral downward. Bynum retired from basketball in 2019 and has mostly stayed out of the public eye since then.
Andrew Bynum’s promising NBA career was cut short by injuries, disciplinary issues, and personal problems. His experiences serve as a cautionary tale about the importance of maintaining physical and mental health and responsible behavior both on and off the court.
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