Cleveland Cavaliers: Tribute video for Anderson Varejao was great to see

Cleveland Cavaliers big Anderson Varejao reacts after a win over the Boston Celtics. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Anderson Varejao reacts after a win over the Boston Celtics. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Currently on a hardship exception end-of-career stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, we haven’t seen Anderson Varejao get a ton of playing time. That second 10-day hardship exception stint was extended/granted, per a report from Chris Fedor of on Friday, for the record, though.

The lack of playing time hasn’t been surprising, as an aside, as one would’ve assumed to be the case.

Varejao is 38, and although there was reported interest for him overseas since his last time active in 2019 with his then-Brazilian team, Flamengo, and NBA teams reached out about a training camp/preseason deal, Varejao chose to stay back and help his then-pregnant wife. You can view more regarding the reported details on that here, for context.

Either way, since Varejao has been signed for this end-of-career stint that’s basically been a farewell for him/a proper sendoff, it still has been a nice gesture by the Cavaliers. Varejao, regardless of his prior stint with the Golden State Warriors, was by and large, a fan favorite, and he played his heart out for Cleveland.

We haven’t again, seen him in there for extended minutes much in this stint, as was noted. Albeit in Varejao’s now-last home game with the Cavaliers, in what turned out to be a win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, their tribute video for him was a cool moment. Boston was especially banged up, even while the Cavs were and have been themselves, as an aside.

But that tribute demonstrated the kind of effort and grit/defensive abilities he brought for the team, particularly during much of LeBron James’ first time with the Cavs.

This was a nice tribute, and as a Cavs fan, I’ll always be so appreciative of Varejao.

That tribute from the Cavs for Andy encapsulated what the “Wild Thing” brought for the Cavaliers. Admittedly, Varejao did have his struggles with injuries, but when he’s able to go, one could always count on him to provide energy for the Wine and Gold.

He was such a heady defender, regularly would draw charges with the best of them, got his hands into passing lanes consistently, often leading to transition looks going the other way and we’d see him diving after loose balls with true reckless abandon.

Point being, with the way Varejao played and with how he endeared himself to the fan base, fans and the Cavaliers are so grateful for what provided for the club. He is sixth in Cavs history in total rebounds and eighth in total steals and blocks, respectively.

To reiterate, the injury bug did hit Andy, but he made his imprint on games for the Wine and Gold for a long time, and it was something else to see Larry Nance Jr., after Varejao’s first appearance with the Cavs in this stint wearing a Varejao wig. Talk about a blast from the past, huh; this was a silver lining after a blowout L to the Portland Trail Blazers.

To put it out there, as one would’ve expected, we haven’t seen Varejao get many minutes in this farewell stint, and considering the dude’s 38 and hadn’t played professionally in two years, and in the NBA since 2017, that’s not been shocking.

In that Boston game on Wednesday, he had three minutes of time, but did have four points and two rebounds, and had a crafty face-up finish after a series of fakes.

I would’ve thought Varejao would’ve had more decent run to end out, but it’s not the end of the world, and Kevin Love did end up having his best game of 2020-21, with 30 points and 14 rebounds, somewhat factoring in potential minutes-share. Mfiondu Kabengele had 16 minutes of playing time as well, more so on the subject in that way.

To this point, Varejao did receive more PT in a recent L to the Dallas Mavericks, and pulled down eight boards, most notably.

No matter what the PT is for him in these last two games, both on the road, that Cavs tribute video of him was very nice to see for Andy/the engagement with fans. And as a brief side note, Tristan Thompson getting this reception/thank you from the Cavaliers, regarding the now-Celtic, was cool to see, too.

We’ll always be uber-appreciative of TT, a crucial member of that 2016 NBA championship squad, too, and his leadership post-second LeBron James departure was invaluable.

Next. Cleveland Cavaliers: Top 30 all-time greatest players. dark

Circling back though, this Andy farewell stint has been fun, and it was great to see that sendoff for him.