There was a segment of Cavaliers fans (maybe a small segment) who were angry with Anderson Varejao for signing with “the enemy” — the Golden State Warriors. The team in Cleveland’s path to a ring. They felt betrayed — although why anyone thinks Varejao should be loyal to Cleveland after they shipped him out the door for Channing Frye is beyond me. Loyalty is a two-way street, don’t show it and you don’t get it.
The Cavaliers players didn’t love the idea of their friend on a team they could meet in the Finals, but they understood the business side of it. Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer collected the quotes from key Cavaliers on Varejao wearing blue and gold in California now.
LeBron James said he didn’t have a problem with it.
“Not at all,” James said. “The man has to work. He’s got to work.”
Kevin Love joked around but understood.
“They’re going to get all of our intel now,” Love joked. “Nah, but seriously, I’m happy for him. He goes to obviously a very good team. It’s tough losing a brother like that and what he meant to this city, this organization. He was beloved here…. Yeah, it’s bittersweet,” he said. “I wish him the best in his career and I want him to play well. Just not against us.”
Tristan Thompson wants his friend to be happy.
“It’s a business,” Thompson said. “He wants to keep playing ball, so whatever is the best fit for him and whatever he’s looking for, you have to be happy for him. Andy was more than just a teammate, he was a friend, a big brother, and so wherever he can go to keep playing, I’m happy for him, even with him being with the Warriors.”
If/when the Cavaliers and Warriors meet in the NBA Finals, it’s unlikely Varejao will play a big role in that series for the Warriors. He’s needed more now with Festus Ezeli out for another month following an injury and Andrew Bogut not able to take on too heavy a load. This gives the Warriors options now, and even more versatility going forward.
But if Varejao gets a ring at the expense of the Cavaliers, that’s going to sting.