Some interesting comments from Brian WindhorstÂ regarding some of the playerâ€™s reaction to Andyâ€™s latest comments. There’s a reason that players usually don’t talk to the media during contract negotiations: Sometimes it can do more harm than good.
In speaking with ESPN.com in his first English language interview about the topic on Monday, Anderson Varejao tried to send a strong message to Cavaliers management by saying he no longer wanted to play for the team. That position is one thing, but Varejao might have stepped over the line by insulting some of his Cavs teammates as well.
Varejao was quoted as saying: ”I don’t think I’ll be happy in Cleveland knowing that I was [almost] the lowest-paid player there for three years and am still paid much less than players on the team that I outperform.”
There was already a little uneasiness with Varejao, because he seemed to be betting on the Cavs getting off to a poor start to drive up his value. That’s a bit of a gray area. But the quote on ESPN.com, in which he belittled some of his teammates’ performances, wasn’t. The statement irked some Cavs, many of whom already have been scratching their heads over the process.
”I think it rubbed some of us the wrong way. One of the things you don’t do in this league is compare your situation to someone else because everybody is different,” one Cavs player said. ”I almost don’t believe he said it because earlier in the article he says he loves his teammates.”
There is an unwritten rule in the NBA that players always side with one another on contract matters. LeBron James has followed it, whether it was 2004 with Carlos Boozer or this year with Varejao.
While the Cavs players have supported Varejao publicly, this latest jab seemed to sting even James.
”Sometimes things can be twisted the wrong way; I don’t know if there is a lot of truth to that. When I have spoken to Andy, he wants to be on this team,” James said. ”It’s his career for him, if he doesn’t want to be back here. . . . if he has a problem with the front office then he’s young enough to go somewhere else and play.”