Dave D’Alessandro of the Newark Star-Ledger went in search of someone – anyone – who could or would say something nice about Andrew Bynum, and what better place to go than St. Joseph of Metuchen, where Bynum played two years of high school basketball before being drafted into the NBA.
Unfortunately for Dave (and perhaps more-so, Bynum), not even Bynum’s former athletic director and coach could muster up kind words about the worst acquisition in the history of Philadelphia sports: [NJ.com]
"Everyone here at school says the same thing: What’s wrong with him? Why does he act like that?" says St. Joe’s athletic director Jerry Smith. "He went from someone we’re proud of to someone whose name we don’t even mention anymore."
Bynum’s coach during his Falcons years — that would be 2003-05, his junior and senior seasons — sounds as though he is under no urgent obligation to defend him, because he’s gone seven years without even being asked to give an assessment of any kind about his former center.
"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."
Rarely – if ever – will you read those types of comments from coaches and teachers who watched a star being born. And not that Bynum is under any obligation to do so, but he hasn’t exactly given back to his school or its students:
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."
Full story here.