CLEVELAND - Welcome back to the NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers.
The call came in around 8 p.m. Wednesday. I said, "Is deal confirmed?"
"Yes, it's a done deal," said my league source. Andrew Bynum is coming to the Cavs.
I thought, "This is a free agent who wants to come to here; that's refreshing."
Free agents and Cleveland haven't been a match made in heaven. So many times Cleveland is the bridesmaid or the butt of the joke. Too many times you hear the words, "Why would that player want to play in Cleveland?"
But, for the third time in this calendar year, Cleveland has landed a fish. Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher said yes to Cleveland. Both have brought at least a mental reassurance that the Indians are heading in the right direction.
But, the Cavs signing Bynum is a little different. This is the city scorn by "The Decision." At the underbelly of that decision was that even somebody from northeast Ohio doesn't want to play in Cleveland.
It's a hard reality of being a Cleveland Sports fan. You must have thick skin.
On the outside looking in on this situation: Some will say Bynum didn't play in Philadelphia last year. His knees might be spaghetti. Cleveland can have him.
Almost three years to the day of the last big decision around here, the Cavs won a three-horse race. They hit the finish line before Atlanta and Dallas.
The deal is good for the Cavs and can be good for Bynum. Play and have success and you will make the money. You have the youngest up and coming team in the NBA around you. They need to learn how to win, and you know what it is like to win rings.
The deal is good for the Cavs. The very worse case, Bynum doesn't hit the floor and picks up a check for $6 million. The experiment fails and the Cavs still have tons of cap space next year.
But, let's dream the way we always do on the North Coast. If Bynum can play back to his days of flirting with 30 rebounds and throwing up double-doubles like nobody's business, this town will explode.
A free agent who chooses Cleveland and helps them become a winner, embraces the city and produces on the floor, can live a charmed life in this city. Help this team get to a championship one day, your name will hang in the rafters and people will be meeting at your statue outside The Q.
This team is naturally going to be better. The hope of health and a young team with another year of seasoning gives Cavs fans the hope. If the Cavs are 15 games better than last year, they should be in the playoffs. A healthy Bynum could blow that win total from 25 to 50 next season.
Right now, Bynum is the toast of the town. We are all hoping to see you drink that next playoff season.