In honor of center Andrew Bynum, who didn’t make a public appearance in the Wells Fargo Center during Tuesday night’s game against the Orlando Magic, his 76ers teammates didn’t show up, either.

A season that has become a long trudge through quicksand took another stumbling step toward oblivion with a 98-84 loss to the Magic. If the prospect of losing the game ever concerned the Sixers, it wasn’t noticeable.

“I certainly didn’t see this effort coming. It’s mind-numbing to me,” coach Doug Collins said. “Youth is a blaming thing. After a while, the talk gets old. It just does.”

The Sixers have a handy excuse for their dreadful circumstance, of course, and that is the absence of Bynum, the player around whom the team was designed. He hasn’t played and, at least judging by Tuesday night, he might not even feel healthy enough to sit with his teammates on the bench and stand during timeouts. Not that we know for sure.

Bynum was expected to update the world before the game regarding the state of his aching knees and the prospect that he might eventually use them once again in an NBA game. That didn’t happen, though, and the 76ers organization, which appears to be growing weary of either the questions or the answers, wasn’t in much of a mood to shed much light on the matter.

– Reported by Bob Ford of theĀ Philadelphia Inquirer