When the mechanical curtain retracts some 30 feet above the 76ers' practice court at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine on Wednesday, reporters, cameramen and other interested news gathers will hustle like Pavlovian dogs to the window for a glimpse of what the entire area has been dying to see.
Sixers center Andrew Bynum finally practicing with his mates.
The Sixers have targeted Wednesday, Oct. 24 as the day for Bynum to hit the floor and finally join the Sixers for a series of practices that hopefully leads to him being available for the team's season-opener Oct. 31 against beloved ex-Sixer Andre Iguoudala and his Denver Nuggets at Wells Fargo Center.
Bynum was scheduled for one more injection in his right knee on Oct. 22. From there, they wanted to give him 48 hours rest and then give it a go on Wednesday.
I'm excitedly looking forward to seeing Bynum in a Sixers uniform – who wouldn't want to see what his insertion into the lineup does to a team that already looks better than last year's team after a 6-1 preseason? – but I'm not going to be mad if he's not out there when the curtain comes up.
I don't see any reason to rush this. I'm not one of these people who ridiculously and without any logical reason connects the bad fortunes the Sixers had with Jeff Ruland more than a quarter of a century ago to what could happen with Bynum's knees. I don't believe in curses. Sorry.
However, knowing how vital Bynum's health is to the future of this franchise, the last thing you want to do is put him out there and have him not be ready. Or, even worse, have some type of setback. That simply can't be allowed to happen.
The Sixers have been honest, open and up front about this whole process. And I, like everyone else, hope he's ready to go on Wednesday. However, I'm not holding them to it. If he isn't ready, put him back on the shelf until he is. There's way too much at stake here.