We Absolutely Cannot Have Anderson Varejao Going Into The NBA Finals Thinking He's Already Won A Ring
LBS- With the Warriors advancing to the NBA Finals for a rematch with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Varejao, who played the first 12 years of his NBA career with the Cavs and started the 2015-16 season with them, could already be guaranteed an NBA championship ring no matter how the series plays out.
The 33-year-old Varejao had been with Cleveland since his rookie season in 2004, but was unceremoniously traded to the Blazers in February to make room for the Cavaliers to acquire Channing Frye. Varejao was promptly waived by Portland and wound up signing with the Warriors.
The Brazilian has yet to win a championship in his decade-plus of NBA existence. While he would obviously get a ring should the Warriors repeat as NBA champions, if Cleveland emerges victorious, they could still give Varejao a symbolic ring given his longtime service to the Cavs and the fact that he began the year with them.
Would Anderson Varejao deserve a championship ring for all the years of service he has given to the organization if the Cleveland Cavaliers were somehow able to pull the upset over the Golden State Warriors? Probably. We are - after all - talking about a guy that rode with the team through the good times, stayed through the worst times, and then got dick-kicked onto the scrap heap Draymond Green-style once they reached the peak of their existence. It's fair to say that he showed commitment and loyalty to a franchise while it went through the most massive of overhauls, and he should be commended for that.
Unfortunately, a decision is going to have to be made here because we can't have an active player entering into the NBA Finals thinking he's already won. I know getting an honorary ring from the Cavaliers is far from a guarantee, but there's simply no way that someone can perform to the best of their abilities with that idea running through their head. That's why I need Anderson Varejao - a player who probably won't see much of the floor anyway - to either come out prior to the series and bench himself or come out prior to the series and announce that he will not be accepting some loser ring. It's either one or the other. No one wants to go into battle with a person that doesn't have just as much to lose. I can't have Anderson Varejao enjoying courtside seats to the NBA Finals while only mildly concerned that his team might not win. If the Warriors end up losing then he needs to be in that locker room sulking with his head in his hands, not crying crocodile tears while comforted by the thought of Dan Gilbert having a ring with his name on it. I'm sure that Anderson Varejao would much rather win a championship while sticking it to his former team than be gifted one, but it would still be a hell of a consolation prize. A consolation prize that unquestionably jeopardizes his dedication to his current team, and a consolation prize that needs to be preemptively trashed so that the Warriors can trust him to give an honest effort during his 90 seconds of playing time per game.