Music often serves as the soundtrack of our lives, and if the right song plays at just the right moment, it has a tendency to make an event resonate with us that much more.
So, it was only fitting Rich Homie Quan's "Type Of Way (Remix)" was playing in the Wells Fargo Center at the exact moment Andrew Bynum emerged from the visitor's locker room last night.
A few bars for the unfamiliar:
That car I'm driving make you feel some type of way
That custom Breitling make you feel some type of way
This b---- I'm with got me feeling some type a way
Is it because my homies rich you feel some type of way?
The boos cascaded from all angles as the thousands in attendance expressed their utter disdain for the Cleveland Cavaliers' center. The reason for the reaction is understandable: Bynum, for all intents and purposes, hoodwinked, bamboozled and led us astray for a solid 10 months.
Rare is the fan who didn't think that the Sixers were destined for great things once they pulled off that massive four-team deal some 15 months ago. But after a year filled with 7-10 splits and Frederick Douglass-esque hairstyles and cartilage in petri dishes and weekly press conferences that ultimately amounted to nothing, it was time for both Bynum and the team to part ways. That said, it's not so easy for us as fans to divorce ourselves from our emotions.
The crowd is chanting "Bynum sucks... Bynum sucks ... Bynum sucks."— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) November 9, 2013
Michael Levin - like most fans who attended the Sixers/Cavs' game - is still in his feelings about the whole Bynum situation, even though all parties involved are better off given how events played out. Again, the response is completely understandable: As Sixers' fans, we're invested in the team to the point where it feels like Bynum stole from us personally.
The truth is that Andrew Bynum simply wasn't healthy last year, and given the way that he looks now, it's extremely unlikely that he would have had any sort of impact on the basketball court had he made a more concerted effort to return to action.
Surprisingly, there weren't many anti-Bynum signs to speak of on Friday night. Behind one basket, a fan held up a piece of posterboard that read "Bynum", but the third and fourth letters of the embattled center's last name were hastily scribbled out so that the sign said "Bum."
Most of the vitriol directed at Bynum was of the vocal variety. He was booed every single time he touched the ball, and even when he wasn't directly involved in the play, "Bynum Sucks!" chants broke out at random. After the game, the former Lakers' center said that he wasn't fazed by the reaction one bit (per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer):
"It doesn't bother me," he said of the fans' chants. "It's kind of funny... I was cracking up. I don't know what more I can say."
Asked if he felt the reception was uncalled for, Bynum responded: "I felt it was kind of weak actually. I thought it was going to be much worse."
UGH RT @ZachLowe_NBA Philly game ops just put Bynum and Alonzo Gee on the Kiss Cam. They laughed. Crowd booed. Back to basketball.— Justin F. (@JustinF_LB) November 9, 2013
It could have been worse: I'm sure the national media expected Philadelphia to act a damn fool last night. But our city's reputation for doing bad things is a bit overblown, and our (proper) reaction barely merited much of a mention on the nightly highlight shows.
Bynum said he's a shell of his former self due to his knees. #Sixers— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) November 7, 2013
It's hard to feel an enormous amount of sympathy for someone who made $16.9 million last year for doing relatively little, but it's sad to watch a 26-year-old former All-Star amble around the court like a man three times his age. After a stoppage in play, Bynum was designated to inbound the ball, and it was painful to see him shuffle the 40 feet to the baseline.
Don't cry for him too much, though. Even if he doesn't score another basket, Andrew Bynum will have enough money and memories to last several lifetimes. Instead, let's revel in the fact that the Sixers are building towards something great, even if the blueprint doesn't include the man we once thought was going to be the cornerstone of our franchise.