He may not be much more than a walking sideshow these days, but credit to Anderson Varejao for wanting to earn his keep.
According to a report by Sam Amico of Amico Hoops on Sunday, Varejao is eligible to receive a ring from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA Championship victory but has no plans to do so after finishing the season with the Golden State Warriors.
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) July 17, 2016
The 33-year-old Varejao is in an interesting position, having played the first 12 years of his career in Cleveland and beginning the 2015-16 season on their roster, thus qualifying him to receive a championship ring. But he was traded by the Cavs last February and ultimately signed with the Warriors, who were, ironically, the very team that the Cavs defeated in the NBA Finals. In doing so, he became the first-ever player in NBA history to play for both Finals teams in the same season.
As such, there was some talk before the series that Varejao might already be guaranteed a ring either way. But in the end, the Brazilian big man is voluntarily choosing to take the high road instead of accepting a symbolic ring that he didn’t really earn (unless you’re of the school of thought that Varejao’s abysmal play for the Warriors in the Finals actually helped win the title for Cleveland, which is a valid argument to make).
For Varejao, who just re-signed with Golden State on a one-year deal, perhaps his refusal to accept indicates a sense of confidence that he’ll be able to legitimately win his own championship ring come next season.
H/T NBA Reddit