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Andrew Bynum admits to considering retirement while continuing to work his way back from injury

Nov 7, 2013, 8:19 PM EDT

Andrew Bynum,Reggie Evans AP

Andrew Bynum is far from your typical NBA player. His interests are varied, and he’s one of the few in the league who treat the occupation as a job more than as his life’s true passion.

Bynum didn’t play at all last season in Philadelphia due to injury, which obviously caused some consternation among that franchise’s fan base. Now that he’s in Cleveland, Bynum has been playing limited minutes, but he’s nowhere near the All-Star talent he was when playing before injuries set in with the Lakers.

The physical and emotional toll it takes to constantly rehabilitate and work back from injury still weighs heavy on Bynum, even while he’s playing a bit for the Cavaliers. He admits he’s considered retirement in the recent past, and that it’s still a consideration as he continues to struggle with his situation.

From Brian Windhorst of

“Retirement was a thought, it was a serious thought. It still is,” Bynum said after the Cavs practice Thursday at Temple University. “It’s tough to enjoy the game because of how limited I am physically. I’m working through that. Every now and again I do (think about retirement)…It’s still career threatening. I’m a shell of myself on the court right now. I’m just struggling mentally.” …

“I just want to be able to play without pain and find the joy again,” Bynum said. “Right now I’m battling pain and it’s annoying. I’m not able to do the things I’m used to doing and it’s frustrating.”

There’s even more from Dei Lynam of CSN Philly.

It would be jarring for Bynum to give up his NBA career entirely if the injuries continue to limit his ability to play at the level he expects, but it wouldn’t be entirely surprising. There’s a reason the Cavaliers structured his contract in a way that would minimize future risk moving forward, and it was due to Bynum’s mental state as much as it was due to his physical one.

  1. tfoz5150 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    A local Philly doctor called this a year ago. Said that Bynum had a degenerative knee condition that wouldn’t allow him to play to his accustomed level ever again. Too bad Philly’s brass didn’t know this before they traded some nice pieces (Vucevic, Harkless, Iguadola, etc.) for him.

  2. dbones750 - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Future means the same as moving forward.

  3. jzone954 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    And this is what Lebron is supposedly supposed to come back to??? Negative….

  4. jazz607 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I will be at the game to boo his sorry bowling A$$!

  5. alan3008 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    Hang in there Andrew! Rehab completely before coming back and do not come back too soon. Take advanced yoga to improve flexibility and reduce the chance of injuries.

    • zerole00 - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      So I do yoga, it’s not going to do crap if your knees are ALREADY shot to Hell. That’s like telling someone they should get car insurance after they’ve already been in an accident.

  6. 00maltliquor - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    This is sad. I feel bad for my boy ‘Drew.

  7. ezwriter69 - Nov 7, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    I’d have a bleep of a lot more respect for him if retired than continuing to go through the motions wallowing in self-pity and still drawing a huge check. Life’s too short to spend it doing something you hate, regardless of the money… and he’s already made a boatload.

  8. pfic15 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Bynum then decided if the right party paid, another fleecing was in order.

    • therealhtj - Nov 8, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      Don’t you worry – sometime after July when the 2nd year @12mil becomes fully guaranteed, he’ll be out bowling again.

      • zerole00 - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:42 AM

        So I hate Bynum, but he didn’t fleece anyone. THEY traded for himself, and EVERYONE has known of his past injuries.

  9. ml98 - Nov 8, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    He Wouldn’t be missed.

  10. davidly - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    I suppose Andrew Bynum’s nonchalant demeanor contributes to some of the frustration fans vent in his direction, but certainly not all of it. So it’s nice to see a measured understanding in the majority of comments on this thread, for there is clearly no dearth of fans who haven’t the slightest clue the things one has to consider to be a professional athlete, especially one who has known nothing else since graduating high school.

    Criticizing him for an injury sustained bowling is like telling him he has no business walking. Criticizing him for having an agent that looks out for his financial interest fails utterly to consider who has the responsibility to do due diligence when assessing a still young former all-star with two championship rings, who nevertheless had knee problems in all capital letters.

    Maybe the reason so many people think he never gave a crap is because he wasn’t in a series of inspirational shoe commercials?

  11. mydoghasfleez - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    They should have Oden & Bynum play one-on-one on a side court and pipe the feed into the main arena big screen during timeouts & halftime.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 8, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Winner gets bionic knees, courtesy of your local chiropractic office.

  12. obmig - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    His knees are shot and it’s sad. Luckily for the Cavs they didn’t wager their season on him being his old self. They have plenty of bigs without him.

  13. trevor123698 - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    He DESPERATELY needs to talk to theo ratliff. theo was in the same boat before youngevity. And yes, Theo is sponsored by Youngevity but he is right. Andrew Bynum needs it. Theo Ratliff’s Rebound FX by Youngevity is the greatest sports drink on earth and you are a lunitic if you deny it.

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