ANDREW BYNUM was supposed to meet with the media Tuesday before the Sixers hosted the Orlando Magic. The media were more than ready for him, surrounding his locker 10 minutes before the scheduled 6 p.m. meeting. But at 6:15, per NBA policy, the locker room was closed to the media, with no Bynum. As reporters then gathered outside the locker room in anticipation of an impromptu gathering, they were quickly told that there would be no conversation with Bynum.
Originally, the team said he would be available Wedneday, but now there will be no practice, so Bynum will not be available.
The team said he may talk on Friday.
For the first time in a while, there appeared to be some actual substance to explore with the 7-foot, 300-pound center, as he did participate, briefly, in some five-on-five action at practice on Friday. Saturday, coach Doug Collins stated the obvious, that Bynum looked rusty, which is expected from someone who hasn't played in 9 months. That action, though, seems to be more than the key offseason acquisition has done at all this season. Whether Bynum was pleased or disappointed with his recent activity is the question on everyone's mind, though it won't be answered any time soon.
Sixers coach Doug Collins is all about building relationships. So when a player is traded or leaves on his own volition, the coach holds no grudges. Quite the opposite, in fact. And as the Orlando Magic took the floor Tuesday, former Sixers draft picks Nik Vucevic and Maurice Harkless were in the starting lineup.
"Do I pay attention?" Collins said. "You mean the fact that Jodie [Meeks] played 32 minutes [Monday] and had eight points and E.B. [Elton Brand] had 14 off the bench for Dallas the other day, and Dre [Andre Iguodala] had 14 and 12 [assists] for Denver [Monday] and keep my eye on Lou [Williams] when he was playing, and Mo Speights had 18 the other day for Cleveland? I pay attention to all the guys that have been a part of my life. They're important to me.
"Do I look at what they're doing? Absolutely, because we spent time with Nik, we drafted Mo, and he played summer league with us. Anytime I have a connection with a guy, I pay a lot of close attention to him, and I want them to do well except when they play us."
After his nearly 36-minute run on Sunday against the New York Knicks, forward Thaddeus Young responded well enough that Collins will not worry so much about his minutes. Young had missed the previous six games with a strained hamstring.
Monday, Young said he was sore from the action, but not in his hamstring. All welcome news for Collins, as his swingman posted 11 points and 10 rebounds that night and added another eight points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes against Orlando Tuesday.
"I kept asking our coaches on the bench, 'How many minutes for Thad?' I tried not to play him more than 7 or 8 minutes at a time, because that's what I was worried about more than anything," Collins said of Young's return. "He got out of it unscathed. I think he probably feels a lot better [Tuesday] than he did [Sunday].
"I don't have to limit him, I just don't want him to have to go for 14 minutes or something. Just coming back from injury, especially a pulled muscle, those are the type of things that if you do it again, you're out double the time the next time, because then it becomes chronic instead of acute."