Andrew Bynum spent seven seasons with the purple and gold, including back-to-back championship seasons, before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in a four-team deal, which sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers. Apparently though, in those seven seasons as a center for the most storied organization in the NBA, winning two NBA Championship rings wasn’t enough for the young man to feel like he was in a city that supported him, according to Access Cavaliers.
“I just know that they’re really, really passionate,” Bynum told Access Cavaliers via NBA.com of the fan base after being introduced in Cleveland. “And I haven’t had the opportunity to play for a city that is really just gonna stand up and really support the team, I’m super excited and I can’t wait to see what it’s like.”
Bynum must have either forgotten about those seven seasons in Los Angeles or still hasn’t been able to get past the nature of the business, which sent him packing in a blockbuster trade. After the Lakers traded Bynum, he did not play in a single game for the Philadelphia 76ers, citing knee problems, before signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this month. His comments shouldn’t come as a huge surprise though, as just last year, in his introductory press conference for the Sixers, he described the fan support as something he had never seen. Then again, in that same conference, the young center also said he was leaning towards making Philly his home. The Sheraton Hotel near his residence, where he frequented for dinner, was more of a home than the Wells Fargo Center ever became.
Clearly, Bynum isn’t the only to share these sentiments as of late. Dwight Howard, the most recent to leave the city of L.A. behind experienced similar feelings. In an interview with ESPN 710 Radio on the Mason & Ireland Show, Steve Nash described it like this:
“I think it kind of basically goes with what [Dwight] said to the media that he never quite felt embraced in L.A. He never quite felt supported. That’s basically it.”
Not feeling supported seems to be a common theme of big men who leave Los Angeles. Howard though, didn’t experience back-to-back championships or seven years of fan and city support. Sure, the going wasn’t always peachy for Bynum, but to say he didn’t experience fan support is an absolute insult to the Lakers community, even if he was trying to win the hearts of Cleveland fans.
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