While reports in the wake of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals indicated that Rodney Hood “refused” to enter the game for the Cavaliers, he classified it a little differently in his explanation to reporters, as Nick Schwartz of USA Today details.
“They called my name, they did call my name, but I was like, ‘Just let Jose (Calderon play),'” Hood said. “He was warm and ready to play, so I said, ‘Just let him.’ I should have took it more serious, went in there, got some reps up.”
It may be a matter of semantics whether Hood “refused” to enter the game or just politely passed on the opportunity, but for what it’s worth, the rest of the Cavs don’t seem to be holding a grudge. According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, after he apologized on Thursday, Hood said that his teammates just laughed at him, pointing out that after all the drama the team has been through this season, they didn’t need to blow the Game 4 incident out of proportion.
“Things like that happen in the course of a season,” Kevin Love said. “I mean, I’ve only known Rodney for a short period of time, but I know he’s a great guy. I know he’s here to win. Was that a great decision? Maybe not. But he came in today, said he’s all in and we believe him.”
While we wait to see if Hood regains a spot in the Cavs’ rotation in the Eastern Conference Finals, here are a few more notes from around the Central:
- The Cavaliers were praised after the trade deadline for acquiring young, controllable players like Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., but given how little they contributed during the Cavs’ four-game sweep of Toronto, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman wonders whether that trade was a mistake for Cleveland.
- Sean Deveney of The Sporting News previews the Pacers‘ offseason, observing that president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard will have a narrow line to walk as he looks to improve Indiana’s roster without handing out or taking on any bad long-term contracts.
- It’s possible that All-Star caliber players like Kawhi Leonard and Kemba Walker will be on the trade market this offseason, prompting J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star to explore whether it would be worth it for the Pacers to pursue any big-time trade candidates.
- Bucks big man Thon Maker intends to suit up for Australia during the FIBA 2019 World Cup qualifiers this summer, as he tells FIBA.basketball.