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Bill Simmons Calls Sixers Winners In Howard Trade, But Worries About Bynum in Philly

Aug 10, 2012, 11:17 AM EDT

ESPN's Bill Simmons feels very similarly to Sixers fans in his love of the deal to bring Andrew Bynum to Philly. He does worry a little bit though.

Author of the book on basketball, Bill Simmons, is a Boston guy living in Los Angeles. So he understands the difference between a sports-crazed town and a place like L.A.

I found it interesting that he labels the Sixers as one of the real winners in this giant blockbuster about to officially go down, but also fears Bynum in Philly not going as smoothly as planned. As mentioned, Simmons lives in L.A., has Clippers season tickets, so he has seen Bynum’s antics up close and often.

Aside from putting two moody ball players in Evan Turner and Bynum together in the same starting lineup, Simmons also believes Bynum in Philly could be a ticking timebomb of sorts:

Fear No. 3: Along those same lines, Bynum is a relatively
strange guy, someone who loves pushing buttons, saying head-scratching
things and keeping people on their toes. In Los Angeles, nobody really
cared — Kobe pulled all the attention away from him, and besides, it’s
not like L.A. is a ravenous, life-or-death sports market or anything.
The Laker fans love their team, but they also live near the Pacific
Ocean in a place that’s 75 degrees every day. Tends to keep everything
in perspective.

Put it this way: You would never put the words “Philly” and “keep
everything in perspective” in the same sentence. The two craziest, most
overreactionary, life-or-death sports cities in America are probably
Philly and Boston — because of their cold weather, because of their
provincialism, because of their respective tortured histories, and
because their sports media members love nothing more than pushing
people’s buttons and blowing stuff out of proportion. If Bynum thinks he
can show up in Philly and loaf through a game, throw a teammate or
coach under the bus, or toss out one of those weird Bynum quotes like,
“For as long as I’m on the Sixers, even if it’s just for a few months,
I’m gonna give it my best” … he’s sorely mistaken. Putting a Sixers
uniform on Bynum is going to be riveting.

Everything he says is kind of true. But can Doug Collins work his magic on the youngster?

As always when it comes to NBA stuff, Simmons’ whole take is worth a look.

>>Only a Lakers-bound Dwight Howard could keep the Sports Guy from writing about the Olympics [Grantland]