The joy of basketball is gone for Andrew Bynum.

But, just like the rest of his game, the Cavaliers center is hoping it comes back.

Meeting with reporters in Pennsylvania for the first time after missing all of last season with the Sixers because of knee problems, Bynum said he felt as if he is a shell of himself on the court right now. He said he considered retirement after last season and still thinks about it occasionally even after signing a two-year, incentive-laden $24-million contract with the Cavs last summer.

Mike Brown talks about Andrew Bynum's shots getting blocked
"I’m struggling mentally," he said quietly after practice at Temple University. "I’m trying."
Asked what his goal is, Bynum said, "Just to be able to play without pain and discover the joy again. … Right now it’s just battling pain is annoying. I’m not able to do the things I used to be able to do and it’s frustrating.''

With those sorts of things on his mind, he is not the least bit worried about what kind of reception he'll get when the Cavs face the Sixers on Friday night at Wells Fargo Center.

"Just expecting to go out and play another game,'' he said.

Sixers fans, he said, were great fans who supported the team. He doesn't think he got a bum rap from them because he couldn't play after being traded from the Lakers. He said he had no problems with the Sixers or their medical staff.

"If I could’ve played, I would’ve,'' he said. "That’s kind of where I sat. I was hurt. It is what it is. I’m still hurt, but I’m trying.''

Bynum, who had surgery on both knees last March, has played four games, averaging 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 12.8 minutes a game. He's shooting just 28 percent (7 of 25) and has had a number of his shots blocked. After looking better in each of his first three games, he seemed to take a step back in the loss at Milwaukee on Wednesday, finishing with four points and four rebounds in 14:19.