There was speculation from the moment the Cleveland Cavaliers let veteran big man Anderson Varejao go that he would wind up signing with the defending champions, and on Wednesday, that was made a reality. Varejao has played his entire career with Cleveland, going through both LeBron James eras and the dark days in between, so he has seen the full spectrum of ups and downs while playing in a Cavs uniform.
Although the Cavaliers are first in the Eastern Conference, they have struggled to consistently find their footing this season, a reality in part due to their surprise coaching change last month. The Golden State Warriors, though, haven’t quite had those same issues. Golden State is on pace to have the best record in NBA history, and have experienced little to no drama on their path to a mind-blowing record of 50-5.
In a conversation with CSN Bay Area’s Monte Poole shortly after signing with Golden State, the Warriors’ latest addition was extremely complimentary of the environment in his new locker room, saying:
“There were other teams … but I chose to come here,” he said. “It’s a great organization, very well coached and with these special guys.
“… I’m glad I came here, because I can tell they love each other. That’s what it’s about. When you want to win, you have to be like they are. Friends that have fun out there, have fun in the locker room. I’ve been here for a couple hours, but I can tell. I can tell this group, they love each other.”
Those comments can be interpreted one of two ways. Either Varejao was simply complimenting his new team and the bond the players share, or he was subtly taking a shot at Cleveland’s well-documented chemistry issues in the two seasons since James returned to Northeast Ohio.
The former seems much more likely than the latter, as Varejao is very good friends with LeBron and it would be out of character for him to take a shot at the King. In addition, LeBron (as well as Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love) has already come out and said he is fine with Varejao signing with the Warriors, so there doesn’t appear to be any ill will or reason for him to speak badly about his ex-teammates.
Still, it’s certainly possible some will interpret it that way, as many of his descriptions of the Warriors don’t often match up with the perception of the Cleveland locker room – especially when it comes to the relationship between James and Love.
Either way, it sure is going to be a fun 2016 NBA Finals if we get the rematch we’re all expecting, and Varejao jumping ship just adds another layer of intrigue.
(Via CSN Bay Area)