Posted by: Jake Fischer
08/01/13 11:17 am EST

Bynum-NoelNerlens Noel is not Andrew Bynum.

He never has been and he never will be.

But to behoove those who believe strongly that the above statement is false, here are the few things the two young men actually have in common:

They’re both African American; they both are from the East Coast; they both attended more than one high school; they both were big names on the grassroots hoops scene; they both were first round NBA Draft picks, they both play center, they both have interesting hair; and they both had knee injuries upon arriving in Philadelphia via a trade for an All-Star caliber 76er.

But that’s where the extremely vague comparisons end.

First of all, they’re completely different players.  Andrew Bynum, when healthy, was the most dominant back-to-the-basket post player in the league in 2011-2012 — a season in which he was named the starting center for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game.  Bynum also has a pretty reliable 15-foot jumper for a 7-1, 280 pound big man.  On defense, he was a good-but-not-great shot blocker when he was able to make weak side rotations.

Nerlens Noel may have one or two post moves in his repertoire, if that, with his back to the basket.  He excels more as a screener 15-20 feet away from the basket where he then dives hard to the rim or pops and looks to drive around slower defenders.  That’s pretty much his entire offensive game outside of slamming home dump-off passes in the lane. Defensively, he’s a rim-protecting freak of nature who covers so much ground on rotations it’s scary after watching several minutes of tape.

Physically, they’re completely different as well.  We already noted the monster of a human being Bynum is out on the court.  When Noel is at his ideal playing weight, he’ll likely have 235-245 pounds on his 7’0 frame.

Character wise, Bynum was a selfish kid who was handed a multi-million dollar contract at 17 years old right out of high school who has a well-documented history of being lethargic and disinterested.  Nerlens Noel comes from a nurturing family and spent a season under John Calipari’s demanding watch at Kentucky where he had to balance schoolwork (well, you know what I mean) and basketball all at once.

Injury wise, Bynum’s knee problems are chronic.  He has no cartilage left in his knees and after one practice and a  5-on-5 scrimmage last spring, his knees swelled up so bad he could barely walk the next day.  This injury does not have a previously proven-successful recovery program.

Nerlens Noel tore his ACL at 19 years old and apparently has a “pristine” post-op knee according to both his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, and his rehab specialist in Birmingham, Alabama. vHe’s rehabbing 6 times a day and following a similar routine that Adrian Peterson used to come back from the same injury and rush for over 2,000 yards in 2012-13.

Lastly, their roles on the Sixers are completely different.  Andrew Bynum was supposed to be the immediate savior of the franchise who took them from good to great — or at least to somewhat contenders status.  Nerlens Noel is a building block who will be called upon to anchor the Sixers defense and hopefully be a rich-man’s Tyson Chandler if he develops anything close to an offensive game.  He also will have 3 or more other high draft picks (again, hopefully) around him to share the load of rebuilding this franchise.  Bynum was expected to essentially be partners in crime with just Jrue Holiday.

Yes, these two players do have plenty in common.  But when you take a deeper look, they’re more dissimilar than it might seem.

Further, fair or not, they’ll likely be linked together in Philly for many years to come.  We just have to wait and see how Noel’s time in Philadunkia nation pans out.


Jake Fischer is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @JakeLFischer

You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia



  1. Steve Toll
    1. August 2013 at 11:50

    Nerlens Noel has already been hanging out with well known NBA groupies and his “inner circle” was an issue when NBA teams were checking him out.

    As for him getting to a playing weight of 235-245 lbs, that is a hoop dream. His shoulders are very narrow, Noel will likely never approach 230lbs with some form of steroids (that’s right I said it).

    A rich mans Tyson Chandler? In the immortal words of Rick James, “cocaine is a helluva drug”

  2. Tony
    1. August 2013 at 12:57

    OH CRAP!!!! You said his offensive game is 15-20ft from the rim? For a 7-footer??? I’m getting deja vu. OH CRAP.

  3. Brian
    1. August 2013 at 14:37

    Sometimes I think some of you guys write FOR the Franchise instead of about it. Its almost like you have to overly reinforce the point of hope and that this twenty year train wreck is coming to an end. I get it, no product no sales for your webpage so your kind of forced to be subjective and one sided. I cannot wait til next season and the spin you create when one of the worst products in the last couple of decades hits the floor.

  4. Philadunkia
    1. August 2013 at 15:49


    You must be kidding with this comment. If you honestly believe in what you wrote than you obviously do not read this site very often.

    No group of writers has been more critical of the Sixers than us here at Philadunkia. There is no way in hell we could be accused of being pro-Sixers or anything of that nature.

    We have been denied access to the team at practice and press credentials for games because our analysis of the team does not sit well with the franchise.

    Unlike the “main stream” media in this town, we will continue to bash this franchise when it deserves it and praise it at the times that warrant praise.

    Thanks for reading and commenting (although your comment in this case was simply way off base).

    –C. Smith

  5. Chris H.
    1. August 2013 at 16:19

    Unlike Brian, and apparently Steve (shocker) I am eagerly waiting to see what this team becomes in the next 2-3 years. I think that Noel won’t be asked to do much on the offensive end but clean up the boards, which is where we have sucked over the last years anyway. I think that if MCW can get his ball-handling in check and develop any kind of shot, that is a decent cornerstone for the future. Not to mention a probable top 3 and another top 12 pick in next years draft. Keep wetting my apetite with these articles. I am honestly more excited about the Sixers right now than any other team in Philly!

  6. Steve Toll
    1. August 2013 at 17:38


    How long have you read Philadunkia?
    What other sites do you read about the 76ers?

    Chris H,

    It’s almost as if you forget other bad teams like ORL, CLE, BOS, CHA are all in far better positions than the 76ers the next few years and then there are all the good/great/elite teams too

  7. Bill
    1. August 2013 at 20:39

    It will be interesting if Noel can turn into a Joakim Noah type of high energy center. Hope he sits as much as possible till he is fully healthy similar to the Derrick Rose situation while bulking up would love to see him in the 230-235 pound range. This team needs a big influx in talent but after next years draft lottery we will have a better clue of how much talent we will be getting. I hope Brett Brown gets the nod for the Head Coach.

  8. George
    1. August 2013 at 22:32

    I keep hearing comparisons to Tyson Chandler, but I’m not sure this kid is tough enough to be compared to him. He was raw when drafted as well, but there was a better frame there. I’ve also heard Marcus Camby, but truth be told he is nothing more than a rim protector and rebounder at this point. I am hopeful, but I don’t remember the last big man we developed. As far as the teams mentioned by Steve as worse and yet better (wtf?), I am confident we will have worse records than all of them. If said draft is as promising as we are led to believe, a promising core can be built. To have started at point guard and center now kinda makes the other pieces easier to find, especially with the cap room we have. I honestly don’t know if Turner, Richardson, Young, Moultrie and Hawes start, or they let MCW start with Turner and we will be awful from behind the arc.

  9. Alex
    1. August 2013 at 22:39

    The comparison between the two are interesting. I seriously believe that the way player is brought up and family values are the most important when it comes to becoming a complete player. Something that Bynum seems lacking. On the frame size, I agree with Steve that Noel would always be thin, but Sixers can always put him together with a very good power forward.


  10. Jonathan
    1. August 2013 at 23:38

    Steve, how are the Celtics in a better position? And how in hell are the Bobcats in a better position? I’d say Orlando is worse as well but at least you could make a case there. For now Cleveland is.

  11. Brian
    2. August 2013 at 01:06

    I find your posts quite refreshing actually…wasn’t grouping you in with my above comment. Your spot on while many others have blinders. This organization has a long way to go and even if they do get there do we just forgive 20 years of irrelevancy?

  12. Joe
    2. August 2013 at 07:10

    “Another thing to do, make sure at almost any cost, the team drafts Nerlens Noel.”

    – Steve Toll, 11th March 2013

  13. Ms. Haygood
    2. August 2013 at 11:10

    LOL @Joe…one thing is for sure, anything this team does people are gonna b!tch about it, even if they suggested the move themselves.
    The one thing about Noel, he got hurt running down an opponent from behind(while his teammates were watching) to block the shot, in a game Kentucky was winning!!! What is wrong with having that kind of player on your team?
    The negativity from some guys have become old and tiresome.

  14. Chris
    2. August 2013 at 11:52

    Thank you, Joe! I’ve been thinking the exact same thing for the past month. Steve, you advocated a strategy of getting worse in order to get better and then when Hinkie comes in and executes basically that exact plan you turn around and say that it’s all wrong. It makes it seem like you would rather just be pessimistic for pessimism’s sake.

    Is Noel a sure thing? No. But everyone agreed he had a high ceiling prior to his injury and the only way we were going to get a guy like that in this draft was to take a risk. The extra pick next year hedges that risk significantly. Is MCW a finished product at PG? No. But who else would you have picked? PG was our biggest position of need with Jrue gone and Burke and McCollum were already off the board.

    The only way to get significantly better in the NBA is to stockpile young talent, maintain cap flexibility, and have some luck. Seems to me like Hinkie has put this team in the best possible position given the hand he was dealt when he arrived. That doesn’t mean you should start booking venues for your 2015 NBA championship party, but Sixers fans definitely have more reason to be optimistic about the future than they have in a while.

    This year will be rough. We’ll end up with one of the worst records in the league, which is all we need since being absolute worst doesn’t guarantee you anything. Hopefully the young guys will show some promise. Then we cross our fingers and watch the ping pong balls.

  15. l
    2. August 2013 at 12:02


    I heard that Noel’s “people surrounding him” problem was started by a few turned down agents. So i wouldn’t look into that.

  16. Jojoba
    2. August 2013 at 18:04

    Steve, remember what you said about the the sixers draft day trade “possibly the best trade in the history of the NBA”. Those are your words genius.

  17. Jonathan
    2. August 2013 at 22:03

    Joe, thank you!

    Brian, it seems as if you’ve decided to forget the Iverson era. More like 8 years of irrelevancy.. Which is all the reason to be excited about whats happening because there is no way we end up in mediocrity after this. Either it fails and we suck and try again, or it’s a success and were a legitimate contender year in and year out.

  18. Jojoba
    4. August 2013 at 22:41

    I live how steve ignores comments by people such as joe and I, lol.

  19. steven d
    5. August 2013 at 13:05

    Steve Toll-
    All of last year you talked about how Philly needs to tank to get better-and how holiday is the most over-rated pg in the NBA. Now that hinke does that You are starting a new round og negetivity? Bill Simmons-who usually hates the Sixers, wrote recently that he loved the trade and direction they were going in and felt they would be a very good team much sooner then people think..Why not have a slightly positive outlook for once toll? You arent going to get a perfect player back for the most over-rated allstar in the NBA? so he needs to put on weight? He’s 19 years old? Give him a chance to play before you start with the negative rumors about his posse.

Leave a Reply