The onetime No. 5 overall pick in the 2001 draft, Richardson, acquired from Orlando along with Bynum as part of the four-team deal that also sent Andre Iguodala to Denver and Maurice Harkless, Nik Vucevic, and a protected first-round pick to Orlando, has been a secondary story to Bynum and his aching knees.
This, however, does not bother Richardson one bit.
"He can have all of that attention because I've had it before," said Richardson, who along with Michael Jordan is one of just two players to win the NBA slam-dunk championship in back-to-back years. "I've been in the position being that guy, the floor leader and all of that stuff like that. That doesn't bother me at all. I'm a veteran, and all I care about is winning games."
With Bynum on the mend - he says there is still a chance that he might play in the season-opener against Denver on Wednesday - Richardson's role, at least early on, will be magnified.
"The good thing is that we have been preparing all through training camp and the preseason to play without Andrew, so we are ready," Richardson said. "We have high expectations for this team and we've got a lot of talent. Coach has done a good job preparing the guys on the roster for the season and we are confident. We have very high expectations for this team - that's not going to change."
Richardson, 31, selected in the same draft as fellow Sixer Kwame Brown, has had a very solid career. In 11 seasons, he has averaged 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and almost three assists per game. And his outside shot has improved as his career has lengthened. He has hit 100 three-pointers in each of the last eight seasons. And dating back to the 2004-05 season, only the Miami Heat's Ray Allen (1,441) has made more three-pointers than Richardson (1,238).
Richardson demonstrated his veteran poise last season in Orlando during a fiasco of a season highlighted by the constant bickering between Dwight Howard, traded to the Lakers as part of the Bynum deal, and management. The Magic, who finished 37-29 and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Indiana without Howard (back injury), ultimately fired head coach Stan Van Gundy and later general manager Otis Smith.
"It was a very difficult season because you really didn't know what was going on from one day to the next," said Richardson, who averaged 11.6 points last season. "One minute Dwight was going to stay, the next he was leaving. It was a tough situation. You learn from it and move on."
Richardson said he was happy to find out he was being traded to the Sixers back in August. He knew that Philadelphia was a basketball city already. However, he was not prepared for the more than 2,000 fans who showed up at the Constitution Center in August to introduce him and Bynum to the city.
"Andrew and I were talking about that and neither one of us have ever seen anything close to that," Richardson said. "That let me know right away that the city was really into the Sixers. It's a new situation, but it is nice to be somewhere where the people are excited about their team."
Having played one season with Howard - albeit a truncated one - Richardson is well aware of the benefits of playing alongside a premier big man. Earlier in training camp, Richardson predicted that in the Sixers offense a healthy Bynum will receive about "20 to 25 touches" per game. This was right before he said that Bynum is the hardest big man in the league to defend, Howard included.
But Bynum's setback, Richardson said, will not be used as a crutch.
"When he gets back he'll be a monster," Richardson said. "But in the meantime we've got to play up to our potential. This is a good group of guys. I'm sure we're going to do that."
Contact John N. Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @JmitchInquirer.