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Andrew Bynum made convincing pitch to seal the deal with Pacers

Feb 5, 2014, 10:14 AM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

When Andrew Bynum was suspended then traded by the Cavaliers, many believed that whatever issues that existed were caused by Bynum himself.

As we’re now seeing, the problems in Cleveland run much deeper, and appear to be at the organizational level to the point where discipline and accountability are completely absent.

That doesn’t excuse Bynum being a disruptive presence, of course, but for a player that needed more than a full year to rehabilitate from various injuries, it can be frustrating to be on a team with such little direction.

Once Bynum was waived by the Bulls, he became an unrestricted free agent and had plenty of teams initially interested. But after not being able to get on the court in Philadelphia and then seeing the way he exited Cleveland, it was going to take some convincing before another team was willing to step up and sign him.

From Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star:

After a three-hour dinner, the Pacers brass felt assured in adding Bynum to the roster. …

[Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard] said that during the Friday night dinner – which included team president Larry Bird and coach Frank Vogel — Bynum made quite the pitch to join the Eastern Conference-leading Pacers.

He made it perfectly clear,” Pritchard said during the radio interview. “He was like, ‘Look, I want to win a championship, I think I can really help you, and I want to fit in. I’m not coming here to let everybody fit in with me. I got to fit in with everybody else.’

“When he said that I think the thing changed.”

Bynum told Pacers’ brass exactly what they needed to hear, and with the team’s title window wide open, he was apparently convincing enough to make it worth giving him a shot.

  1. shuttaman1990 - Feb 5, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Looks like Bynum had to play in that hell hole called cleveland to finally grow up. He wants a chip! He’s probably going to get another one with the pacers.

    Lakers all day.

    • losangelesbillsofbuffalo - Feb 5, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      Bynum would still be in Cleveland if he thought with his head and not his Little Richard. He played well and contributed on the court. With the star power already surrounding him in Indiana, the Pacers don’t NEED Bynum, which is exactly what Bynum needs. Good signing with not much to lose, in my opinion.

    • noggy19 - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      Ya this article forgot to mention that Bynum had sex with one of the coaches wives. This guy hasnt grown up at all you idiot. Whats he gonna say-“ya ill keep doing the things ive been doing that got me kicked off of 3 teams, please sign me.” Granted the Cavs are a mess but he was a big reason they are a mess.

      • Kurt Helin - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        That rumor is not true, by the way.

      • shuttaman1990 - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Because we are going to believe rumours.
        Unless the coach comes out and says this, then this is just like Gloria James and Delonte.

        Stop acting as if this is 100% true.
        Cleveland is a hell hole

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 5, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        I heard Bynum took Mike Brown’s lunch money and knocked his milk carton off the table

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 8, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Lakers: has been losers all day long.

      • shuttaman1990 - Feb 8, 2014 at 9:32 PM

        Why you so….. wait for it……..

        lakers all day.

  2. prosourcetalk - Feb 5, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Bynum’s no fool. He knows if he plays nice, contributes some, and rides the Pacers coat tails to a championship, he’ll get another fat deal from a crappy team, which is undoubtedly his main motivation.

    • marsh025 - Feb 5, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Pacers and the word championship should not be used in the same sentence.
      It doesn’t even sound right.

      • asimonetti88 - Feb 5, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        Bynum and motivation shouldn’t be used in the same sentence. That’s what doesn’t sound right.

  3. spthegr8 - Feb 5, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    I mean, what did they think he was gonna say, I’m coming to tear your team apart..?? I’m not saying signing him was a bad move because, the Pacers are probably one of the few teams in the league that have the leadership in the locker room to keep him in check. But he is running out of chances and he know’s that so, he is gonna tell you exactly what you wanna hear! Just Saying”!!

    • marsh025 - Feb 5, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      IKR. lol. He told them he wanted to fit in and that sealed the deal?
      were they expecting him to say that if he doesn’t get his way he’ll disrupt the locker room?
      This coming from a team that was built, not bought.
      Oh wait… Scola wasn’t built. Nor was David west. Or Bynum. wasn’t George Hill playing elsewhere before?
      Or is it that a trade is better than a FA signing? I don’t get it.
      why not wait for more draft picks? Is it because at your rate of winning you will not be getting any quality draft picks?
      Imagine that. That’s a problem only successful teams have.
      We can see that you all are novices to that group (successful teams).

      • oldblue125 - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        teams aren’t built anymore. everyone on the pacers is a role player. team power. not star power. bynum knows how to win. being a good player on a crappy team is hell

      • yeahisaiditsowhat - Feb 7, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        8 ups and 50 downs so far?
        Looks like you got your azz handed to you on a platter, Bro

    • irishbomb - Feb 5, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      I think the fact that Larry Bird runs the Indiana Pacers is being left out…. If Bynum does not produce the results expected then anybody that knows anything about Larry, also knows he will not tolerate it! And will simply bench him or just part ways quickly.

  4. bougin89 - Feb 5, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    The hope for any team taking a chance on Bynum is that he gets motivated. He will have to do much more than talk about it to prove he’s actually motivated and can positively contribute to the Pacers. Time will tell.

  5. spursareold - Feb 5, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    False logic. Just because Cleveland has problems doesn’t mean that the hornets nest of problems with motivation that have followed Bynum his whole career no longer exist.

    When there’s a difference in words and actions, go with the actions every time. They are who you are. Anyone can talk a good game.

  6. camodaddy26 - Feb 5, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Andrew Bynum as your third string center?: why not? Not much risk there. He was supposed to be the guy in Cleveland but in Indianapolis he can just play in short bursts at least until his knees burst. See what I did there?

  7. tv63 - Feb 5, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Bynum worked very hard to get in shape in Cleveland. He was progressing though he’ll never be the same Bynum of Laker Days . He can help Pacers beat Miami. The problem in Cleveland was a toxic locker room and he called Irving out on that. Irving is coddled and spoiled to the detriment of the team. You would be shocked to what lengths. FOr example, right now Brown has reassigned Jack’s main purpose on the team is make sure Irving doesn’t go 1-4 all the time. Now mind you Jack is not the best player to be a starter. SO he would rather have Jack babysit a spoiled Irving than put in his 2nd to 3rd best shooter to try to win. And God forbid if Irving ever gets benched for not following instructions. How weak is that! This is the kind of stuff that drove Bynum nuts. He would see Kyrie hog the ball, over dribble to just lose it and he would scream at him to pass the damn ball already. Brown wasn’t going to deter any of that. Bynum crossed Irving and they let him go.

    • campcouch - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:16 PM

      I never knew Bynum had any kind of basketball savvy. Lakers were fools for trading him!

  8. zerole00 - Feb 5, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Honestly, I think this deal was as much about not letting Miami have him as it was about his potential contribution. The Pacers are having one of their best years yet, and even if the latter doesn’t come about, they just couldn’t risk any turnaround he may have had with Miami (even if they do have Oden).

    • oldblue125 - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      luxury tax was probably a stumbling block

  9. expatde - Feb 5, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    We shall see … I think that Cleveland is an extremely dysfunctional organization and a totally unsuccessful organization – 44 years, 0 Championships.
    Bynum is still young (26), he has a lot of playoff experience, and he is only 2 years removed from being considered one of the top centers in the NBA.
    It could be a case of “the rich getting richer” (i.e., a loaded Indiana Pacers team now has 2 starting caliber centers).

    • campcouch - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      Indiana pacers-38 years, 0 championships. ABA titles don’t count in the NBA lol.

  10. pfic15 - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    Well, if that’s the case, I’ll be scheduling a meeting with the Pacers brass shortly.

  11. noggy19 - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    The Pacers will regret this, this guy is a cancer. He has been kicked off of 3 teams, the latest because he had sex with one of the coaches wives(cavs). Indiana has a really good team they can win it without him. He will be nothing but a disruption.

    • dexterismyhero - Feb 5, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      give us the source for the screwing of a coaches wife? other than that, STFU.

  12. billtetley53 - Feb 5, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Marsh, yesh because the Pacers nevet won the ABA championship….know your history for Gods sake. Badketball existed before Jordan.

  13. bruiserbrigade - Feb 5, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    He’s a hustler, and he just hustled another team into giving him millions.

  14. campcouch - Feb 5, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    So explain to me why the Lakers took the risk of engineering a trade to send him away with the hope of signing Dwight Howard to a long term deal. Then the Sixers who never saw him play,let him go. Cleveland gives him a shot then he complains that his knees hurt. The Bulls trade for him,giving away Luol Deng and waive him the next day and suddenly in Indiana he’s supposed to be a dominant force.Ha.

  15. louhudson23 - Feb 6, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Bird has him on a short leash,and he will be long gone by the time we hear about whatever problems he may have had there. What’s more,Bynum is most likely very aware of that fact,if only because he was told so directly. Little risk for a big body….And no,he doesn’t have to say the “right things” or the “wrong things”…the lack of self awareness in the NBA is rampant and any number of players are completely unaware of how they are perceived or what role they themselves may have played in that perception…

  16. billtetley53 - Feb 6, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    camp: The original postingvwas that Pacers and world championship do not go together. Regardless if its recognized by the NBA, they werecthe champions of the ABA league. If you think that ABA titles are meaningless, you are pretty ignorant. Much of the NBA game you watch today is because of the ABA.

    I dont understand people like you and your absolute refusal to acknowledge the history of the game.

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