CLEVELAND - Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum is playing in his first NBA game since 2012.
The 7-foot-Bynum, who didn't get on the court for one second in Philadelphia last season after he was acquired in a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers, entered Wednesday night's season opener against Brooklyn with 3:40 left in the first quarter. Bynum received a loud ovation from Cleveland fans, who have been wondering if they would ever see him play after his disastrous tenure with the 76ers.
The Cavs signed Bynum to a two-year, $24 million contract in July. Only one season is guaranteed and the team holds the option for next season.
Bynum hadn't played since May 21, 2012, when he was with the Lakers.
Before the game, Cavs coach Mike Brown said he would play Bynum "very limited" minutes. Bynum has been steadily doing more in practice the past few weeks, but Brown said the Cavs will not push him.
"We don't want to rush him," Brown said. "We want to make sure as best we can that we take our time and do this thing the right way."
Bynum had his first shot blocked by Andray Blatche. Bynum later grabbed a rebound and picked up two assists as the Cavs overcame a 10-point deficit to open a 27-26 lead after one quarter.
If healthy, the 26-year-old Bynum gives the Cavs a large inside presence and a complement to star point guard Kyrie Irving.