Varejao wins even if Warriors lose Finals

Anderson Varejao could help the Golden State Warriors with inside information, as he had previously played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Anderson Varejao could help the Golden State Warriors with inside information, as he had previously played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

OAKLAND • Brazilian centre Anderson Varejao, the first man to play for both National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals teams in the same season, could give the Golden State Warriors an inside scoop on his former Cleveland Cavaliers team-mates.

The 33-year-old South American, who spent 111/2 seasons with the Cavaliers before joining Golden State in February, might also wind up with a championship ring no matter which team win the best-of-seven championship series that begins today.

"We all know how important Cleveland are for me and what Cleveland did for me," Varejao said. "But right now, I'm a Warrior, and I have to focus on helping them win a championship."

He has averaged 7.4 points and 7.3 rebounds a game since his NBA career began with the Cavaliers in 2004. He missed the team's play-off run to the Finals last season after tearing an Achilles tendon in December.

This season, he was a reserve to Russian Timofey Mozgov before being traded to Portland in February. The Trail Blazers waived him and he was picked up by Golden State.

Now, Varejao can serve as an inside force on the court and provide secrets about the Cavaliers, although Cleveland star LeBron James dismissed the idea.

"We're a totally different team than when he left," James said.

Varejao has never played against the Cavalier and his return to Cleveland for Game 3 of the Finals next Wednesday promises to be an emotional one.

He could win his first championship ring if the Warriors win.

And, even if they lose, because he spent enough time this season on the Cavaliers' roster, he is eligible for a ring, if the Cavaliers win and decide to give him one.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2016, with the headline 'Varejao wins even if Warriors lose Finals'. Print Edition | Subscribe