Andrew Bynum Criticized By High School AD and Coaches

by March 19, 2013

Before it ever began, Andrew Bynum’s season officially came to an end yesterday. With free agency looming this summer and an uncertain future ahead, there’s nothing but criticism for the big fella. Even his old high school coaches won’t give Bynum a pass. Per the Star-Ledger: “The labels still follow him around, like a dishonorable discharge from a club he never wanted to join in the first place. When Andrew Bynum was traded from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar bashed him before he got across the Continental Divide, asserting that his prized student always wanted to take shortcuts and ‘didn’t want me to bother him (by) constantly going over the fundamentals.’ About that time, an anonymous Lakers player created untold internet hits by suggesting that ‘I’ve never met another player in the league who likes basketball less’ than Bynum. More recently, Magic Johnson condemned him as ‘a guy who (cannot) tolerate pain. When he was injured, he wasn’t a guy who worked hard to get back. This doesn’t surprise me.’ […] ‘Everyone here at school says the same thing: What’s wrong with him? Why does he act like that?’ says St. Joseph of Metuchen athletic director Jerry Smith. ‘He went from someone we’re proud of to someone whose name we don’t even mention anymore.’ […] ‘Yeah, I never respond to that kind of request, because Andrew has chosen not to stay in touch for whatever reason, so I just don’t get involved with it,’ says Mark Taylor, who now coaches the St. Benedict’s Prep powerhouse. ‘I don’t dislike him, and he’ll continue to do well if he can stay healthy, but I’m sure he’s got people who will guide him in times like this.’ […] ‘He went from being one of our favorite sons here — right below Jay Williams — but they don’t talk about Bynum like they do about Jay,’ the AD says. ‘For a lot of reasons, there’s been a disconnect.’ Smith said he once took a busload of kids to a Nets-Lakers game in East Rutherford, and Bynum — reluctantly, he thought — did come out to say hello to the students. ‘But he hasn’t exactly been a warm presence,’ Smith says. ‘We thought he’d be a lot different, that’s all. We all understand sports figures — wary of people asking for money and all that — but we don’t need money, we raise our own. It would just be nice if he came by now that he’s so close. It would be great for our kids to see him. But I’m not holding my breath.'”