There have been many Cleveland Cavaliers fans who have called for the banishment of veteran big man Anderson Varejao over the past couple of seasons. They believe he has never truly lived up to his potential and that his history of getting injured as he did last season far outweighs his value to the team. The native of Brazil does have one admirer that most likely will dash the hopes of his detractors; Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott. The “Cleveland Plain Dealer” reported Wednesday, that as far as the Cleveland bench boss is concerned Varejao is close to being untouchable.
Scott told reporters “It would have to be an unbelievable person to get back. I look at him as one of the guys you look at and say, ‘He’s not going anywhere.’ I just feel he’s that valuable and feel that strongly about him and what he means to this team. Words can’t express how good it is to have Andy on the team because of what he means to the team and what he brings.”
The 29-year-old veteran played just 31 games last season after he was injured in early January. This season however he has had a very strong start to the campaign as he has started all nine games and averaged 9.4 points and 10.2 boards per contest. Varejao is not a natural center; but has had to log a lot of minutes there because of the lack of a viable alternative on the roster. He has gone from being a flustered rookie without a good grasp of English, to a polished leader on this squad.
The player who was labeled as “Wild Thing” early in his career said that he is happy as a veteran and a role model for his younger teammates on the club. He told reporters “I’m focusing on staying healthy and helping this team. Leadership is the way you act not only on the court but the way you do things during the games, after the games and before the games.”
Varejao along with Daniel Gibson are the two remaining players from the 2007 Cavaliers that made a trip to the NBA Finals in 2007; the only time in the club’s history that they played in the Championship round. He has three years remaining on his contract that is reportedly for $27 million over the life of the pact.