10:59am: Hood will not face a fine or suspension for refusing to enter Game 4 on Monday, reports Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. According to Zilgitt’s source, Hood spoke to the Cavs’ front office on Tuesday morning, and the fourth-year guard “feels badly for causing a distraction” as Cleveland enters the Eastern Finals.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports that Hood intends to apologize in person to his teammates and the Cavs’ coaching staff as soon as possible.
8:51am: The Cavaliers finished off a four-game sweep of the Raptors on Monday night, returning to the Eastern Conference Finals for a fourth straight year. However, not all is rosy in Cleveland, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. Lloyd hears from multiple sources that Rodney Hood refused to enter Monday’s game in the fourth quarter, angering some teammates and members of the organization.
With the Cavaliers up by 30 points with less than eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter, head coach Tyronn Lue wanted to insert Hood into the lineup in place of LeBron James, per Lloyd. However, multiple sources tell Lloyd that Hood refused to check in, even after multiple veterans huddled around him and talked to him. Jose Calderon eventually entered the game instead.
Hood, acquired by the Cavaliers in one of their trade-deadline deals, has been ineffective in the postseason, averaging 4.6 PPG on .396/.133/.750 shooting in 10 games (17.0 MPG). His struggles couldn’t come at a worse time — besides giving the Cavs little value during the team’s playoff run, he’s also less than two months from hitting the restricted free agent market.
According to Lloyd, Cavs GM Koby Altman plans to meet with Hood to get his side of the story and find out why he refused to enter Game 4. While it’s possible that Hood was dealing with a physical ailment, multiple people who witnessed the exchange tell Lloyd it looked more like “a young player pouting.” Lloyd speculates that a suspension isn’t out of the realm of possibility, adding that Hood may not maintain his usual rotation role going forward.