The new Cleveland Cavaliers center got fans excited by saying at his introductory press conference on Friday that the Cavs are “definitely” a playoff team. He also dismissed concerns about his work ethic as “nonsense,” and overall sounded like the complete opposite of the flake he appeared to be with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I’m just ready to work. I’m going to stay in this gym as much as possible,” Bynum told the Cleveland media on Friday.
“I really believe I have a great chance with this organization. I can bring leadership, I can bring experience. We have an opportunity to do something special. We have the talent, and now all it’s going to take is the work. I think everybody with the team — especially myself — is ready to put that in.”
Bynum ready to work hard? Is this the same Andrew Bynum from the Lakers we’re talking about? The same Andrew Bynum one of his ex-teammates described as nobody in the league “likes basketball less”? Yes it is. The entire theme to Bynum’s press conference was about working hard.
“Going forward, I want to get back to All-Star level and work extremely hard and get this team into the playoffs and make some noise,” he said.
Our friend Scott Sargent of Waiting for Next Year asked if concerns about his work ethic were unwarranted, and Bynum said that was the case.
“Completely. I worked really hard to get to where I am. I continue to work hard,” said Bynum, who described the concerns as “nonsense.”
Bynum also said he was looking forward to teaming with former rookie of the year point guard Kyrie Irving.
“Obviously Kyrie (Irving’s) talent is world-renown. I have not have the opportunity to play with a point guard — a great one — so I’m really looking forward to that.”
And Bynum says he is looking forward to playing for coach Mike Brown.
“Coach Brown and myself, we definitely have had a great relationship in the past in LA, contrary to what people believe. I had my best, most productive year under him. He really wants to get the ball inside and he sets it up for myself and the team to be successful. Having worked with him already, I know what to expect.”
Unless Bynum has completely matured in the past several months, I’m not buying what he’s selling. This is the same guy who hurt his knee bowling. Seriously. He’s the same guy his neighbors described as a nightmare. The same guy who blew off a meeting with the Lakers GM. He may be saying all the right things, but I’m not believing it.
You can watch Bynum’s press conference below: