He showed up wearing a Sixers basketball t-shirt and black track pants. But from the way he was received by the crowd of Sixers fans who showed up to watch it, you’d have thought he’d showed up in king’s regalia. Andrew Bynum, one of the stars of the four-team Dwight Howard deal that sent Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets and Nik Vucevic and Moe Harkless to the Orlando Magic, was finally inked in as a Philadelphia 76er. Brandishing the number 33 (like a certain other Philly sports folk hero), Bynum seemed as excited to be in Philadelphia as the crowd was at him being there. And with one sentence, the Sixers fans that had packed the National Constitution Center exploded in cheers.
”My first experiences here have been so great, [that] I’m really leaning toward making this my home.
With the intimation that a franchise player like Bynum would become more than just a one-year rental, the Sixers were suddenly no longer the punching bag of Philadelphia sports that they’ve been since the post-Iverson days. So much of a successful team hinges on one player, and the Sixers finally found what they’d been after for over a decade: a player to anchor a team around. As one of the best centers in the NBA and and still in his prime at the age of 24, Bynum certainly qualifies. In signing him, the Sixers changed the face of their roster to become legitimate contenders, and have reinvigorated basketball in Philly before the season has even started.
I can’t wait.