Andrew Bynum’s old coaches didn’t have his back during an interview recently
This has been a rough year for the 25 year-old, Andrew Bynum. Icons such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and former teammates have all spoken out about Bynum’s lack of passion, low pain tolerance and immaturity. St. Joe’s athletic director Jerry Smith, was Andrew Bynum’s coach during his high school years at St. Joseph of Metuchen. And just like the previous knocks on Bynum, his former coach agreed with all of his former player’s follies of the past.
Via Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro:
Yeah, I never respond to that kind of request (to defend Bynum), 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.
“Like most big guys with big expectations, he seemed uncomfortable with them,” says Wendell Alexis, the former Syracuse star who was Taylor’s assistant in 2004-05. “And subsequently, he seemed leery of people around him — coaches, or agents, or could be anybody. He had a very serious nature for a 17-year-old, actually, whereas most people that age — with that talent — would think the world was their oyster.
Smith went on to say that Bynum doesn’t seem interested in interacting with his former coaches and high school. The school AD also mentioned a time he drove busload of kids to a Nets-Lakers game in East Rutherford to watch Bynum play. After the game Bynum came out to say hi to the kids, but Smith felt like it was more of a hassle for him to do so.
“He went from being one of our favorite sons here — right below Jay Williams — but they don’t talk about Bynum like they do about Jay,” the AD says. “For a lot of reasons, there’s been a disconnect.”
“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.”