Bynum Vows To Return To Form With Cavs



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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Andrew Bynum is well aware of his skeptics … those who don’t believe that his work ethic can match his physical tools and the crowd that believes we might have seen the best of him already.

We are going to serve as his motivation this season in Cleveland, which is exactly what I wanted to hear from the Cavaliers’ big man during his introductory news conference this morning.

Shut me up. Shut us all up, big fella. And show us that we are wrong about you.

Show us that you are indeed the All-Star you claim to be. Show us that you are one of the top big men in basketball. Because showing us is the only way you will convert the masses.

The Cavaliers have provided the platform. General manager Chris Grant was by his side, clearing the path for Bynum to speak his peace and then get ready to work (bright and early Monday, according to Bynum). Cavaliers coach Mike Brown, who is familiar with Bynum from their season together with the Los Angeles Lakers, will be there to do whatever it takes to help Bynum succeed.

But in the end, if Bynum plans to return to form this season, the onus is on him … fragile knees and all, his critics be damned.

“I feel like for me getting my career back on track and really playing a full year is my only goal with this season,” Bynum said about his goals for the 2013-14 season. “I really feel like I can accomplish it. Work ethic-wise, I come in every day and I work hard. I don’t really — I feel like it’s a little bit unfair at times, but that’s just something that comes with the territory. Obviously, you take that and use it as motivation to come out and prove everybody wrong.”

Bynum insists the scathing reviews of his work ethic have been off base at best and totally unfair.

“Completely,” he said. “I worked really hard to get where I am, and I continue to work hard. I’ve had injuries in the past, and there is a lot to be said for people who think that way. But I think if you get to know me and you look at how hard I have worked to get where I am now, that that’s kind of nonsense.”

This player, who boasts franchise-big man talent, just signed a two-year deal that could be worth some $24 million (only $6 million is guaranteed) provided he delivers on all of the hype he talked up this morning. And he very well could return to form. He could be the dominant force he was during his last healthy season, in 2011-12, when he averaged 18.7 ppg, 11.8 rpg and 1.9 bpg en route to his first All-Star nod.

That Bynum, alongside a healthy Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Jarrett Jack, Anderson Varejao, Earl Clark, Tyler Zeller and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, among others, is a solid start. That could be the nucleus of a playoff team in the Eastern Conference.

“This is definitely a playoff team,” Bynum insisted. “We have new talent. We have Jarrett Jack, we have Earl Clark who had a phenomenal year last year. I can’t wait to play with Anderson, honestly. I haven’t played with — he brings a kind of energy and passion to the game that I really haven’t been around. Obviously, I played with Kobe [Bryant], but just from a guy who is willing to sacrifice everything for the team, I think that goes leaps and bounds inside the locker room. So I’m really excited about this roster. We definitely have the opportunity to go.”

But for those of us finding it hard to shake the images of Bynum on the bench all last season with the Philadelphia 76ers, the doubt remains. He’s 305 pounds right now, way over his usual playing weight of 280. And we haven’t seen how his knees will respond to his latest round of procedures, rest and rehabilitation.

Bynum said he was in shape and ready to go last season, only to have those recurring knee issues torpedo his season and the Sixers’ plans to build a contender around him. Bynum claims he was as shocked as anyone at the way things played out in Philly.

“Yes, I was completely surprised. I had every intention of playing and I showed up,” he said. “I was ready. I was down in playing weight, I was in shape. It’s just an unfortunate situation that it didn’t work out for me there. Again, going forward here, we have a great plan. I’m going to stick to it, and will I be ready. I have been doing a bunch of non-weight bearing exercises just to protect my knees,” he said. “Going forward, we’re going to do some final screening and really strengthen my body so that I’m able to play. That’s something that’s going to be new for me this year coming here. I haven’t really had that in the past, and this organization has really laid it out for me to succeed.”

The Cavaliers have all of the pieces in place. It’s up to Bynum to show the basketball world that he has moved on from all that has gone down in recent seasons.

He’s saying all the right things. He swears he used his lost 2012-13 season to observe the game from a different perspective, to see where he is needed and how he can best benefit his new teammates and franchise.

“I can bring leadership, I can bring experience, and myself and the young team around me, we’re in an interesting opportunity to all rise together and really do something special.” Bynum said. “We have the talent, and now all it’s going to take is the work. I think everybody with the team, especially myself, we’re ready to put that in. Going forward, I want to get back to the All-Star level. I want to just work extremely hard and get this team into the playoffs and really make some noise. I think the Cleveland fans deserve that.”

Talking the talk is one thing.

Walking it is another.

Shut me up this season, big fella. Shut us all up!


86 Comments

  1. ronmitch says:

    I still think Bynum landed where he wanted to be Cleveland. I remember when Bynum was with the Lakers and they where trying to sign Bynum to a extension of his contract but Bynum wanted out and the Lakers knew he was going to leave them ,that’s when they decided to trade him. One of Bynum’s free agent destinations was Cleveland. Philadelphia was not one of Bynum’s destinations he was traded there by the Lakers. Bynum did the same thing Howard did wait until the season ends and go to your team of choice. Don’t be surprise when Bynum’s game reemerge from the ashes..

  2. jadyhalasan says:

    Hope Bynum’s ready…Let’s see during the season if indeed his words are true………

  3. MrBasketball says:

    Bynum is not better than Howard. Howard was one of the most durable players in the nba until his back surgery. Howard was playing like a robot last year – had no mobility and still posted 18ppg(with Kobe and Gasol) and led the league in rebounding. He has work ethic adn desire – look at his body and his body of work – then compare it to bynums. what do you get Apples and peaches. D12 is obviously a peach (for those of you who get it). Peaches taste better. at the end of the year – look at the numbers and games played.

  4. caloyski says:

    I HOPE BYNUM WILL BE ABLE TO DO JUSTICE TO HIS POSITION AS A PRO BASKETBALL PLAYER– DON’T SHORT-CHANGE THE FANS

  5. Pau Gasol says:

    what a waste 24m? more like 240k what a joke!

  6. Kobe says:

    Bynum gonna play just ahandful of games, he is out of shape. what a joke for the cavs

  7. michael says:

    Bynum is a great player, never doubted him even with his injury

  8. pissed dude says:

    Bynum was loved by philly and philly fans. We wanted nothing more then to see the second best center in the league to play for our team. but he is an absolute idiot. He got injured and never came back and gave us false hope until we finally gave up. So congratulations cavs u got a amazing player that will probably never play. But u can watch a butt load of clips of him practicing free throws! Still in all seriousness the cavs will be good and probably the 6th seed. They are good and only getting better but counting on bynum is a dumb and dangerous path.

  9. snub says:

    since kyrie got in the league i wanted bynum to join him i truly hope hes healthy and that bennett is not a bust cause then the cavs will be 6th in the east

  10. Kimmy says:

    I agree. Bynum will be just fine. The East finally will be competative. Detroit, Wizards, Cleveland will push back teams like Atlanta, Boston and Milwakee. And if Chicago/Rose don’t elevate like everyone is expecting them to, they will be pushed back by these up an coming teams too. This is going to be so much fun to watch!

  11. theking0522 says:

    Oh boy. The East is going to be great this year. Nets, Heat, Bulls, Pacers, Cavaliers are much better, Washington will be a great team is they stay healthy, Detroit got better. I don’t think any team will make it to the playoffs with a record under .500 in the East. Can’t wait to watch the games between teams in the East.

  12. SO says:

    Lakers are awesome

  13. chris says:

    OHHHH….OUCH!!!! … my kneeesszzzzz..

  14. Drew says:

    Bynum next to Hakeem Olajuawon is the only player to have 10 blocks in one game!!! Trust me he can defend. Look what he did with the lakers that 2012 season he became an allstar. I think on the right team again he can be a leader if healthy he’s a heck of a talent.

    • miguelamor22 says:

      Are you high? There’s been like 50 players to record 10+ blocks per game. And that’s only since they started recording blocks in the 70’s. There’s probably been over 100 players in the history of the league to get 10 or more blocks in a game. Just last year I’m pretty sure Joakim Noah, Serge Ibaka and Roy Hibbert got 10 or 11 blocks in a game. I’m willing to bet D Howard has picked up 10 or more blocks since his career started. Don’t be thick. One game doesn’t mean ish. Unless it’s a NBA championship game seven, it ain’t gonna get you a ring. If you don’t know the history of the league then don’t comment on it kid. Sorry to sound so harsh.

  15. blaze2831 says:

    Can anyone tell me y Paul gasoul is not starting the season

  16. dododo3 says:

    this is dangerous!!! cleveland>houston any day!

  17. Mothebeast says:

    Bynum was a great player the reason he didn’t play last season is because he didn’t want to waste his energy playing a sorry team howard Will play for any team I’m not mad he left my fav team lakers because he wants a ring and last year they didn’t even get close

  18. Rihanna says:

    Shine bright like a Bynum!

  19. Mike says:

    At this critical point in his career he is STILL 25lbs over playing weight. That is all you need to know about this. Cavs took very little risk and will opt out next season to sign somebody else. Bynum will be heading to Europe this time next year. If he cannot even TRY to stay in shape at this point he doesn’t care to ever put the work in. I will look forward to seeing his “where are they now” in ten years.

  20. Drizzle says:

    They both have there pros and cons..dwight was still hurt last season so he was rusty..and bynum will be the same way …Howard will win the vote far as best center on the popular vote ballot ..but I would go with bynum for if my best player cant be in the game cause of his free throw shooting when the game is on the line …THATS HORRIBLE!

  21. Heat is too hot for me :3 says:

    Well it seems as if the worst teams in the NBA are starting to be the contenders of the NBA first Pelicans, than Bobcat now the Cavs. Even the Warriors who still made the playoffs might have the 3rd 2nd or 1st seed with their starters. Let’s just hoe Miami pick up maybe Greg Oden and they’ll keep their 1st place spot.

    #Heat

  22. Mitra says:

    I wish Bynum all the best. He has a talent to become one of the best NBA players in history. Let me pray for his healthy season.

  23. Kobe says:

    to Cleveland LOL!

  24. somecavsfan23 says:

    With bynum we have a solid starting group (if he stays healthy) then we have clark and jack as rotational players who can help off the bench the cavs can put up some points, and with browns defensive style i can see the cavs at best a 6 seed in the east

    • Mike says:

      Read the article, he is 25lbs over playing weight right now and he has bad knees. He cares about driving sports cars and bowling. At least they can opt out next year when only European leagues are interested in him.

      • AL says:

        Mike dude ypur a hater man Nene used to be fat and he lost weight in a quicker amount of time than Bynum has. Its def possible you just cant seem to comprehend that. He didnt want to sit out last year it just happened but if he WANTS to play then you allshould be afraid of what hes gonna do.

      • ronmitch says:

        Mike acts like a young kid who has nothing to say. Grow up Mike and learn a little more about BASKETBALL.

    • down_to_the_wire says:

      I agree and with Jacks experience over Irving theyll pull a Golden State let Jack take the ball up and Irving ull have more plays for scoring options off the ball

  25. Cali Life says:

    Bynum knees are shot, that’s what they keep reporting on ESPN first take. He may only play 20 to 35 games then his knees

    will give out again, mark my words. Cleavland got screwed again!

  26. HUnter says:

    If Bynum is ever going to do anything it will happen in the next season and a half. Bynum plays 150 games over two season and D12 definitely takes a back seat. You say D12 is a better rebounder. By 1 or 2 rebounds per game Bynum’s last year with the Lakers? Bynum did that while sharing rebounds with a another 7 footer and played way less minutes than D12. Cleveland, a healthy Bynum and one more veteran star (not superstar) and Cleveland is a 4 seed. And I’m a Laker fan

  27. Rhedz says:

    Bynums a beast, howards something else..both of them can still evolve if both of them stay healthy. They play the same position but they both play a little different from each other. Both of them bring different stuff on theirrespective team table. Houston and cavs can rise up if everything works out in their respective teams. I see cavs making 7-8 seed in playoffs and i see houston 6-7

    East

    Heat
    Nets
    Bulls
    Pacers
    Knicks
    Raptors
    Cavaliers
    Hawks

    West

    Warriors
    Clippers
    Thunder
    Spurs
    Grizzlies
    Rockets
    Pelicans
    Blazers

    • down_to_the_wire says:

      Raptors maybe Hawks no way Id take bobcats b/c of starting 5 Walker, MKG, Biyombo, Jefferson, and a SG but definitely the Pistons are makin ther way to the playoffs with Billups, Knight, Stuckey, Smith, Monroe, Drummond
      In the west Id take out the Blazers and put in the Mavs and as much as I hate to say it but spurs probly will make it but watch out b/c Lakers and Nuggets should be in the mix

  28. John says:

    you guys say howard had more ppg and rpg and better defender than BYNUM? you all s*cks! howard is better because nobody is around him he’s the only one on the orlando to rebound defend and score unlike BYNUM in lakers he got pau to compete in rebounds and and kobe to score but he still got his PPG and RPG and defense up? what are you thinking guys common !

    • Mike says:

      Bynum is 25lbs over playing weight. Read the article guy. He doesn’t care, at least Howard cares to compete and win. This time next year Bynum will care about what he cares about right now, driving sports cars and bowling. The only difference is it will be the European leagues that are talking about signing him.

  29. J says:

    I really hope he will be an all star calibre player again

  30. Big Al says:

    Those who keep saying that Bynum is better than Dwight are total idiots.

    • shaba says:

      agreed… they forget Howard led a team of 1 season wonders who just shot 3s (Hedo, Lewis, Nelson) to the FINALS while Bynum was basically taken to the finals by Kobe, Gasol, and Metta…as if Bynum could have taken those randoms on Orlando to a finals appearance. they also talk about ONE game where bynum had 10 blocks, how about dwight winning three YEARs of defensive player of the year.. foolish comparison

  31. tumpak says:

    Now that Bynum is with Cav. let’s hope that he will be tha best basketball center and not best bowling center.

  32. digitioli says:

    I stand corrected. The stats in head to head are way in Howard’s favor except games won: Howard up 6-4.

  33. Author Das says:

    You can;t comprare Dwight to Bynum, simple due to the fact that Bynum fit into the Lakers system. Howard did not.

    But it will be interestng to see. Bynum and Varajao in the front court. Irvin in the back court, not a bad team…..on paper.

  34. digitioli says:

    Although they are both immature still, I’ll take Bynum over Howard every day they both come to play.
    I don’t have them in front of me, but I think the head to head stats completely bear this out.
    They both should have giant chips on their shoulders for this season, and we’ll see how long the enthusiasm lasts.
    It’ll be interesting. Or nauseating.

    • Mike says:

      Read the article. Bynum is STILL 25lbs over playing weight and has bad knees. If at this critical point in his career he still doesn’t care enough to not gain weight ON BAD KNEES, he doesn’t care at all. He will be playing in Europe in 2014-2015.

      • AL says:

        he gained weight because he was OFF for a whole season he can lose 25 pounds thats nothing for him.

  35. ezequiel says:

    andrew help the cavs to join in the playoffs to subtitub boston

  36. W/E says:

    Bynum is a clown, u cant count on this guy comon he doesnt really care about playing

    • Mike says:

      Evidence in the fact that at this critical juncture he is still 25lbs over playing weight. Next year the European leagues will be talking to him.

  37. theholyspectator says:

    first off this is def not enough if cavs tryin to down the road bring lebon to clevaland, bynums best basketball has come and gone..hes done…cavs if they are super lucky might make the 7th or 8th seed. depending how well kyrie plays and doesnt have major injuries..mike brown will be able to help the team improve but not too much…again i dont see any team really beatin miami heat in a 7 game series out in the east..only true challenge right now is indy..

    • Mike says:

      I say this over and over and nobody listens. Mike Brown is the worst coach in the 30 plus years I’ve watched professional basketball. Lebron got him the coach of the year award, in no way whatsoever is he remotely a good coach. Kyrie and the cavs building will be stunted by hiring this terrible coach.

  38. NHL says:

    Bynum is overrated and will not help the Cavs in no way shape or form. Stop believing in the hype ppl.

  39. celentano says:

    With the audition of Clark & Bynum this team gonna make some damage during season and play-offs.I wish bynum & Clark good luck, i like them a lot! Cleveland gonna be a hell of a team thus nice roster too.
    With comparison Dwight & Bynum,during finals 2010 injury prone Bynum manhandled Dwight mostly helping the Lakers win the title! As a Lakerfan you never forget this, even later strugglin with some additutes himself!

    Bynum 2 rings.
    Dwight 0 rings.

    For myself he is the better Center end of story!

  40. ac says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually looking forward to watching the Cavs this year. They’ve got a great mix of players at all the positions and if Bynum is healthy it would be the perfect place to revamp his career. They still need more pieces to be a serious contender, but its nice to see them beginning to make moves.

    • Mike says:

      I think the cavs are really building what will be very good team around Kyrie. However Bynum’s career is virtually on the line and he still manages to be 25lbs over playing weight. He will not be on the cavs this time next year. Doesn’t matter since the contract they signed is worth the risk, they can just opt out and have cash for free agency. If you cannot even be at playing weight at this critical point, there is no hope for you.

      • ac says:

        Agreed! Irving’s a stud, I see him potentially 3-4 years down the line taking Chris Paul’s crown as the best point guard in the game. Keyword here is “potentially.”

        I hear you about Bynum, not sure if I would go so far as to say he’s done, but there’s definitely heavy reason to be suspicious. It is encouraging, on the flip side, that easily his best season was with Mike Brown at the helm. But also, like you said, the contract that Cleveland signed is pretty low-risk for them so overall I think it was a great move.

        It also remains to be seen what sort of role Anthony Bennett will play. As a Knick fan for life, he reminds me a bit of Larry Johnson back in the day, not only because they both went to UNLV, their skill set is also similar. Just like LJ, I’m not convinced that Bennett will ever be a star but I think he will be very good.

        Either way, should be exciting!

    • down_to_the_wire says:

      I agree i think there gonna find there way into the playoffs

  41. Piddy My Dit says:

    Bynum doesn’t seem serious to me. he just doesn’t.

    • Leeza says:

      If, If, If, If, If If…that’s all I hear. His knees holding up to his 305 lb bulk, I doubt very much that he will be playing at all after or during this season. D12 any day of the week, year, etc..etc..

  42. lbj says:

    Who cares? in a a or two or maybe even by the trade deadline he’ll be dying to get traded to Miami. Cleveland wil probably get back Joel Anthony and Haslem. A decent trade for them and another Championship for us.

    PG: Chalmers
    SG: Wade
    SF: King James
    PF: Bosh
    C: Bynum
    reserves: Allen, Oden, Bynum, Battier, Lewis

    • B says:

      Yeah! That makes sense!

    • p00kiebrayray says:

      Keep dreaming

    • GangstaP says:

      Another delusional Heat bandwagon fan. LeBron is over rated. His team bailed him out in game 6 which led to his beast performance in game 7. Once the Heat have to let some pieces go, queen James will be back to his normal self, not making it to the finals.

      • theking0522 says:

        Haaaater. Who cares Lebron was bailed out? He brought Miami into the game in the 4th quarter. 2 Rings

      • canadian fan says:

        Lebron over rated? That is one of the worst posts I’ve ever seen.

    • down_to_the_wire says:

      Im only gonna say this once and everyone agrees all you miami fans need to quit worrying about getting new people you got a good team already just shut up about it and quit commenting b/c everyones tired of wat u think about player movements. Do u ever notice how they always lead to miami. who couldve guessed

    • BigBoy says:

      bynum is the starter and a reserve? wow hes amazing

    • Christopher says:

      Don’t forget about the point guard Cole

  43. Philip says:

    I’ll say it again. I’ll take a healthy Bynum before Howard most days. If you can’t learn to score in 7 years you might never learn. I hope he’s healthy.

    • Sam says:

      Dwight averaged over 20 ppg during the 2009 season… I dont think bynum ever done that.

    • ok…he can score…but he can’t dominate on both sides like howard does

      • p00kiebrayray says:

        Actually, he can. During game 1 in the 2012 LAL vs. Denver playoff series he had triple double with 10 blocks. But I don’t think he’s gonna bring it every night like Dwight.

    • SoulChorea says:

      SAME HERE. I wish the Lakers had kept him but I think their hands were tied. Dwight is not that dude; Bynum (when healthy) is a beast and I’d take him over Dwight any day of the week.

      • GJohn says:

        The media created this illusion of Dwight Howard that he could never live up to because he does NOT have the talent that everyone keeps speaking of. Andrew Bynum has the talent and can dominate on BOTH ends of the court. There was much more to the Philly trade than has been printed and it is probably best kept quiet at this point in time. Everything has worked everyone including Philly with acquision of the rookie big man through the draft.
        Everyone will see that Bynum is the BEST big basketball. Yes, he has something to prove following last year and he will prove it from the very beginning.
        Congratulations Cleveland for FINALLY putting the correct mixture of talent on the floor to knock the socks off the media and surprise many teams. go Cavs and Dan Gilbert.

    • coreyon says:

      Dwight is still the better rebounder, better defender and still averages more ppg than Bynum in the last 2 months Dwight was a laker Dwight dominated this guy hasn’t played for a whole year

      • down_to_the_wire says:

        Dwight dont play defense unless he gets his way on offense as u can tell from this season in LA. If hes not getting the ball instead of Kobe hes not happy. Dwight is a great player but hes got a chip on his shoulder and ther was tension with who was the best player on LA b/t him and Kobe. The main reason LA got Howard is b/c besides MWP Howard was the only other one that was good at defense. He was supposed to keep people from scoring and grab his points off of the offensive rebounds from Kobe’s misses

      • ronmitch says:

        Dominated what? The Lakers played horrible last year with Dwight!

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Agree .. & if Bynum can stay healthy then don’t count out LeBron considering a return to Cleveland next summer ..

      • Akeem says:

        After the way Labron was treated, I would NEEEEEEVER return to that team. You don’t go back to a lover that slashed your tires, burned your clothes, etc… after you told her nicely that you were leaving…….no, you leave that crazy @itch alone.

      • p00kiebrayray says:

        Dan Gilbert was pretty harsh on LBJ after the decision. LBJ would be a fool to go back.

    • BigBoy says:

      ?? dwight knows how to score. one of the best offensive rebounders n put backs in the game. has a hook shot but not really post moves. if he and nash ever could get the nash-amare PnR right, he would have been dominant last year.