The former Orlando Magic forward said he had “no concern at all” he would eventually join the Cavs, despite being diagnosed with an enlarged heart three years ago.
“I was telling my friends it’s more like I appreciate the team being extremely thorough,” Frye said before the Cavs hosted the Detroit Pistons. “How many people get the opportunity to not only go to Johns Hopkins (Hospital) but also come to the Cleveland Clinic? You just get more information. So maybe the information I had and (gathered from going) through this process can help a guy later on to make sure we’re making the right decisions.”
“If they had just cleared me, I’d have thought something was up,” Frye said. “Them taking extra days is just them being a great organization and making sure they cross their Is and dot their Ts.”
Frye, a 10-year veteran, missed the 2012-13 season with a heart condition.
The 6-foot-11, 255-pound big man was able to observe a couple Cavs practices while finishing the physical but did not participate in any on-court activities with the team.
Despite Frye’s limited experience, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue vowed to play him against Detroit, subbing him in to start the second quarter.
“We know what we can get because of his shooting ability and also being 7-foot, like I talked about before, he’s an underrated post defender,” Lue said. “But tonight, with the way (the Pistons) play so small, it’s going to be kind of difficult for him but we’re going to try to get him in there.”
Frye, a 38.7 percent career 3-point shooter, was coveted by the Cavs for his ability to stretch the floor.
“I don’t think they need anything,” Frye said. “I think I’m just another option. I like to space the floor, I think I can give guys opportunity not to get double teamed. In today’s game, floor spacing is everything. For Coach Lue to have an option of two shooting bigs is pretty good. There are some All-Stars playing ahead of me, so I’m ready to earn my minutes whenever possible and then just be ready.”
Frye, who has made the playoffs twice in his career, said Cleveland provides more than just a chance to win. He has also been reunited with fellow University of Arizona alum Richard Jefferson, whom he considers a big brother, and will be alongside James Jones and general manager David Griffin, who he was on teams with in the past.
And he comes in with the unique perspective, having dealt with his health scare in the past, that the Cavs’ championship goal is certainly important but still takes a backseat to certain aspects of life.
“It was probably the best and worst thing that ever happened to me,” Frye said. “I think for me it made me appreciate every moment I get to play. Made me just maybe a little more aware about health issues and how quickly something can be taken away from me. For me, it was the best thing to happen. It made me just enjoy the game more just to treat it like a game and not worry about the outside influences and just focus on the team and focus on myself.”
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