Andrew Bynum, at Cavaliers introduction presser: "Yes, I'm going to be ready"
Friday, he said them again. This time, in front of a contingent of Cleveland reporters as the 7-foot center was introduced as a member of the Cavaliers.
Bynum, who made $16.8 million last season despite never playing for the 76ers, got a 2-year, $24-million contract from the Cavaliers. And after twin knee surgeries, he hopes he can finally put to rest all of the criticisms that dogged him last season --- namely, that he never wished to play through pain.
"I want to play a full season," Bynum said. "There is no doubt in my mind that I couldn't do that. Yes, I'm going to be ready. That is the plan. As long as I stick to it, I really believe that I have a great chance with this organization."
Bynum characterized comments about his work ethic as "completely" out of line.
"I worked really hard to get where I am, and I continue to work hard," Bynum said. "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."
A number of setbacks prevented Bynum from ever making it onto the court with the Sixers, who traded for Bynum in a four-team deal last August. January of last season, he engaged in 1-on-0 workouts. February, he practiced with his team for the first time. By March, he had given up on the season and chose to undergo surgery.
So returning to form, with Bynum averaging a double-double in the 2011-12 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, his most productive year as a pro, is next up for the big man.
"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. "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."
Count Sixers fans among them.