Andrew Bynum’s lost year

Hardwood ParoxysmAdrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that Andrew Bynum will undergo arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees to clean out remaining debris in his knees. It will cause Bynum to miss the remainder of the season, meaning Bynum will not play at all during the 2012-13 season and enter free agency with the injury questions looming over him.

For Philadelphia and Andrew Bynum this season has become utterly and completely lost.

The Sixers got involved in the Dwight Howard mega-trade to acquire the big man the franchise had been lacking since Moses Malone. In Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia saw a centerpiece to build around and someone that could take the team out of the middle of the East.

Philadelphia had been to the Playoffs the last two years with a rag-tag group of players who were very capable of winning and competing, after all the team was a year removed from upsetting a Derrick Rose-less Chicago team. But the Sixers wanted to compete for championships and Andrew Bynum was the way to do that.

Bynum, injury problems aside, averaged a career-high 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. He finally burst through and became a good foil for Kobe Bryant (even if the rest of the roster could not provide support). In the Playoffs, Bynum busted out, posting a triple double in the first game against Denver. Maybe Shaquille O'Neal was not so crazy.

Or maybe he was.

Bynum played only 60 games last season and his averages went down when the postseason came around. His Lakers were bounced out of the Playoffs in the second round and the questions about the team's future began to be raised — thus Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.

Bynum was a budding star (a first-time All Star in 2012) and hungered to have his own team and be the man in charge of wins and losses on a nightly basis. He wanted out of Kobe's shadow.

Philadelphia was a perfect fit.

Chris Graythen/Getty Images/ZimbioIf only it could have worked out. Set backs have beset Bynum at every turn. His knee would not respond to treatment and then he made things worse with the bowling incident. His hair style changed and Philadelphia floundered.

The 76ers have held the ship steady, but are not going to make the Playoffs. They have settled into 10th or 11th in the East — the netherworld of not good enough for the Playoffs and not bad enough for the maximum amount of ping pong balls.

The perfect fit has not worked out well.

So now questions will be raised about where Philadelphia and Bynum go from here after this lost season.

Bynum will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and it is unclear what kind of contract he could get. A strong this season this year certainly would have gotten him a max contract like Brook Lopez (another oft-injured center with questionable defensive ethic). Who will take the risk on Bynum now?

And for Philadelphia: what happens to the team and its future? Are the Sixers about to sink down to the dirty bottom in a rebuild or does this team still believe it can shape up quickly with the pieces it has and make the Playoffs? The championship seems further than ever for this organization.

A match made in heaven has become a tragedy.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily