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Sorry, Cleveland fans. I know the Sports Gods still owe you more than one in the wake of the whole LeBron James ‘decision’ drama, but karma aside, any organization that would champion teaming Andrew Bynum and Mike Brown as a path forward deserves exactly what the Cavs are now enduring.
Let’s face it, one has never, ever taken the game seriously while the other casts himself as being such a beautiful mind on the sport that he’s literally sapped all the fun out of the experience of leading the 12 young and free-spirited men he’s been entrusted to oversee at virtually every stop he’s made.
Given such self-evident truths, you have to wonder what now makes for more of a classic example of the Cavs crazed ineptitude: the fact that they would think the combination of Bynum and Brown could ever serve as an ample replacement for James or the fact that they are also increasingly of the mind The King, himself, may actually someday soon reappear to save them.
In a matter of hours, the Cavs suspended, then reinstated, then labeled Andrew Bynum exiled from the team with pay after the organization characterized the culmination of events involving him over the last several weeks insufferable.
But what would you expect from a 26-year-old know-it-all who has long wavered about how important his career and legacy are to him to the point he even once told the legendary Kareem Abdul Jabbar he had nothing else to learn?
Still, Andrew Bynum, bad knees and all, has now pocketed some $22 million for playing just 24 games over the last two seasons. Somewhere, even the likes of Denzel Washington and Meryl Strep have to be wondering: what’s his motivation? The Cavs have until January 7 to decide if they will gift him with upwards of another $12 million for averaging just nine points and five rebounds in 19 starts this season.
In short, Cleveland should have known what they were buying and should have known Bynum’s rehab was as much about his psyche as his knees. They should have known that one former Philadelphia 76ers teammate, armed with the fact that Bynum sat out the entire season he was in town, nursing a knee injury many before him have managed to take the floor in spite of, once reflected “I’ve never met another player in the league who likes basketball less.”
And then there’s Brown, a man who arguably ran the world’s biggest star from his boyhood home in just five years, only to undeservingly resurface in the nation’s most make-believe land and quickly again be dismissed as less than authentic in terms of being the master strategist he sells himself as.
Brown’s X and O’s shortcomings were again all on full display during his brief L.A. tenure when he again struggled to generate offense, particularly during his short-lived second season with even a lineup that featured Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol.
Only in the land of the Cavs would such exaggerated incompetence be rewarded, particularly when none of it really even has to be. Remember, Cleveland is the same organization that has overzealously and outlandishly overreached on such high-lottery picks as Tristan Thomas, Dion Waiters, and Anthony Bennett.
And if that wasn’t enough, the Cavs added Jarrett Jack last offseason, presumably to do all the dribbling the over-dribbling Kyrie Irving doesn’t already do. I know, I know, Kyrie’s already an All-Star and Jack is a more than serviceable backup, but in the end redundancy is redundancy.
Still, none of the madness is nearly as perplexing as the teaming of Bynum and Brown. Sorry Cavs fans, but the truth is the truth.
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