With the Wolves frontline of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic are playing otherworldly right now, the need for a 3rd big man to keep Pek’s minutes down to protect him from nagging injuries while Rony Turiaf is out and Gorgui Dieng is seemingly deemed unworthy of developmental minutes would seem to lead suspicious rumor mongers to the door of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Whether you thought Andrew Bynum wasn’t dependable or a colossal jerk or worse, his indefinite suspension by the Cavs had to at least raise an eyebrow. Rumors of the big man being jettisoned for practicing threes at practice seem to dumb to be true. The cagey comments by the not-without-blame Cavs coach Mike Brown don’t illuminate the situation, either.
However, the chemistry issues that plague the mix of vets and young guns on the Cavs’ roster can’t all be laid at the feet of one former Laker jackhole acting like a jackhole to another former Laker jackhole — it’s possible the Cavs realized their investment wasn’t playing out and this is a convenient way of sweeping it under the rug. Major jackhole move by management? Yeah, but would you believe the rumors if they weren’t about Bynum? Anyway…
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported this before the Cavs played in Boston.
BOSTON, Mass. — Cavaliers coach Mike Brown declined to specify the reasons for the team’s indefinite suspension of center Andrew Bynum for conduct detrimental to the team, but it appears his tenure with the Cavs is nearing an end.
Asked if Bynum had played his last game for the Cavs, Brown said before Saturday’s game against the Celtics, “He’s had an indefinite suspension. Again, I’m not trying to be funny, but you know what indefinite means.”
Asked what prompted the suspension, Brown said only that it was an ”internal matter.”
Asked what Bynum would have to do to be reinstated, Brown said, “Again, I’m not trying to be funny, but he’s suspended indefinitely and we all know what that means. We’ll see.”
It appears that the team had been concerned for some time about a pattern of behavior from Bynum and whether he was fully committed to basketball. NBA sources said the straw that broke the camel’s back occurred on Friday at practice when an obviously disinterested Bynum took some wild shots that angered coaches and teammates, continuing what had become a trend. One NBA source denied a rumor that Bynum had cussed at Brown. At any rate, the team elected to suspend Bynum at that point and he did not accompany the team to Boston.
As recently as Thursday night, Brown was asked if he’d give Bynum a night off and he said no. But in discussing changing his starting lineup that night, inserting Earl Clark for Alonzo Gee, Brown said, “Bynum has been up and down. Sometimes he’s down because we couldn’t get him the ball. But we have ways now we’ve figured out how to get him the ball. It’s a matter of him producing.”
It was the first time Brown, who coached Bynum with the Lakers and was his biggest fan up to this point, put any blame on Bynum. Previously, he talked more about the problems the Cavs were having adjusting to playing with a traditional big man in the post. In the double overtime loss to Atlanta on Thursday, Bynum played just 17:49. He left in the middle of the third quarter and did not return.