Andrew Bynum will miss the remainder of the season and no longer be with the Indiana Pacers, the team announced Wednesday morning before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals matchup against the Washington Wizards.
Bynum, who was signed on Feb. 1, only played in two games with Indiana and averaged 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. On March 21, Bynum went on the inactive list due to knee soreness and the team ruled him out indefinitely. Now, the Bynum era – as brief as it was – has ended. The Pacers reportedly Bynum signed for $1 million.
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"We want to thank Andrew and our medical staff for trying to get the issues with his knee resolved," said Larry Bird, the Pacers President of Basketball Operations. "We wish him the best in the future."
After the Pacers' Game 4 first-round playoff win in Atlanta, The Star asked Bynum if he was soon to return and he responded, "I don't know." Though Bynum has attended practices and sat on the end of the bench during games, since at least Game 7 against Atlanta, Bynum has not been with the team.
The Pacers, who did not administer a physical to Bynum until after he signed the contract, had initially entered this relationship with high hopes. Though at times, players and coaches tempered their excitement due to Bynum's long history of health issues.
"This is what we signed up for," Vogel said during the days leading up to Bynum going on the inactive list indefinitely. "We knew he was a great player with some problem-area knees, (who was) going to be in some times and out some times. We're fully aware of that and we'll be excited whenever we have him in uniform."
Since the start of the 2012 season, Bynum has only played in 26 games. Last summer, Bynum signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers but was dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons in December. According to Bynum, he was kicked out of practice when he launched a shot from midcourt, clearly out of the rhythm of the offensive play. Another day during a scrimmage, he did not like a call from assistant coach Phil Handy and mocked him as "a horrible referee."
"Those are the two things I did," Bynum told The Star in February. "I did them on purpose because it was over there for me."
On Wednesday, Bynum's agent, David Lee, did not return a phone message left by The Star. Before the team released a statement about Bynum, his older brother, Corey Thomas, said that he did not have "insight" into why Bynum was no longer around the team.
Candace Buckner writes for The Indianapolis Star. Call her at (317) 444-6121. Follow her on Twitter: @CandaceDBuckner.
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