Wine and Gold Welcome at Westfield
Then again, the Cavaliers annual Youth Fund Golf Classic has never paused in the middle of its silent auction to announce the signing a small forward free agent.
But there they were – iconic local B-movie host, Lil’ John Rinaldi, closing out Jamario Moon’s press conference at the scenic Westfield Group Country Club by offering him his business card for his downtown store. Jamario immediately gave the card to his wife. (Danny Ferry and Mike Brown love intelligent players.)
“I kept my fingers crossed because I wanted to be part of this organization,” beamed Moon. “I was watching what (the Cavs) have been doing this offseason and what they’ve been putting together, and I figured that I could come in and take some of that pressure off of LeBron on the defensive end and make his job a whole lot easier.”
The well-traveled 29-year-old did, what Danny Ferry called “a Superman”: changing clothes on the car ride to Lodi after taking his physical earlier on Monday in Cleveland. When he did arrive, he found the festivities in full-swing. He was introduced by Ferry and also had his new coach right by his side.
“His length and his athleticism is something everyone in this league can use, and he’s played for some good teams and played under some good coaches,” said Mike Brown. “But the thing people underestimate is his play on the offensive end of the floor. He’s a very good offensive player, he moves well without the basketball, he’s good in transition and he’s a better three-point shooter than people give him credit for.”
The NBA’s family-focused reigning Coach of the Year added: “And another thing people in Cleveland will see is that he’s a terrific human being. And to have him and his wife here in Cleveland is a blessing to us all.”
This past season, the Alabama native averaged 7.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.1 steals in 25.8 minutes per game. Moon scored double-figures in 25 games and led the NBA in steals-to-turnovers ratio (2.0) last season. Defensively, Moon had at least one block in 12 straight games for the Raptors last season and he was the 2007 CBA Defensive Player of the Year with the CBA’s Albany Patroons.
“I think Jamario will fit really well on our roster,” praised Ferry, who made his first foray into restricted free agency to sign Moon. “He brings a lot of versatility, he’ll bring a lot of athleticism, and he’ll bring the defensive intensity that Coach Brown loves. He’ll give us another athletic player who can guard the Carmelo Anthonys, the Paul Pierces and those types of guys. We think he’s a real solid addition to our roster.”
Jamario Moon is the latest piece of the Cavaliers’ offseason renovation, but he may not be the last. On Monday, the soft-spoken small forward got quite a unique reception – and his wife found a jewelry store in the process.