Once Andrew Bynum signed his two-year, $24 million contract last Friday he began talking about what he sees of this team and his new city.
Speaking to the press that gathered to see Bynum as a Cavalier for the first time, the 7-foot center stated that, "this is definitely a playoff team," and that he is "really excited about this roster."
Bynum becomes the second member of the Cavaliers, following Kyrie Irving, in a matter of days to discuss how excited he was with the roster heading into the 2013-14 season. There has been a good amount of turnover on this roster this offseason as Dan Gilbert looks to finally get his team back to playoff contention.
The addition of guard Jarrett Jack to backup Irving, Earl Clark to add talent to the small forward position, and rookies Anthony Bennett and Sergey Karasev, to go along with Bynum and the Cavaliers' current roster does make Cleveland a viable option to return to the playoffs, at least on paper.
Bynum sees the potential there and that is why he brought his talents to northern Ohio.
The biggest question surrounding this team is the health of the big man, yet he seems to be confident he can put his injured past behind him and be a force for the Cavaliers.
"The Cavs so far have given me every opportunity to succeed," Bynum said.
"The medical staff is great. They've put together a plan going forward. I pretty much just show up and work hard. I really believe in the doctors here and in the training staff. I'm in a different place because after the surgery I feel a lot better than I did last year. With time off I've been able to get the swelling out."
This is good news to fans and staff alike. There is hope that the medical facilities available in Cleveland, namely the Cleveland Clinic, would help to make sure Bynum is healthy to start the season and keep him on the court throughout the year.
Fans will also be happy to hear that Bynum has already relocated to Cleveland and is ready to get to work so that he will be ready for the season and he can get used to all of his new teammates.
"I'm just ready to work," Bynum told reporters.
""I'm here. I moved up here already, found a new location to live. I'm going to be in the gym as much as possible to get my game back to the level that I know I can."
Bynum may be the only person who knows what level his game can reach, as many are still waiting to see what the 25 year old can do. Throughout his career he has dealt with injuries and may not have been able to shine fully on the Los Angeles Lakers where he at times was the third or fourth option. If he can get back to the level he was towards the end of his tenure in L.A., or exceed that, it would make the Cavaliers that much more formidable.
It also is reassuring to hear how hard Bynum plans to work. Since being drafted out of high school, there have been questions on whether Bynum was putting the work in necessary to take his game to where it needs to be. It seems that a year unable to play basketball may have refocused Bynum, which is only good news for Cleveland.
Not only has Bynum talked about his excitement for this season's team and how hard he is prepared to work to be successful, but he also looked to win Cavalier fans' hearts, while taking a stab at his former employer's fans.
"I just know that they're really, really passionate," Bynum told Fox Sports after his press conference of the Cleveland fans.
"And I haven't had the opportunity to play for a city that is really gonna stand up and really support the team. I'm super excited and I can't wait to see what it's like."
There is no question that the fans in Cleveland love their teams and fully support them, but it is an interesting approach by Bynum to not only speak of their passion, but also throw some jabs back at those in Los Angeles. Hopefully Cavalier fans will get out and support a healthy, hard-working Bynum who helps to push this team into playoff contention like he believes.Tags: Andrew Bynum, Anthony Bennett, Basketball, Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Earl Clark, Jarrett Jack, NBA, Sergey Karasev