While most of the NBA is jet-setting between franchises to chase rings, Anderson Varejão has been trying to avoid them, albeit unsuccessfully. He’s accepted a ring from the Golden State Warriors.
“Two weeks ago I got a call from the Golden State and they told me that there was a vote between the players and the coaching staff, and they decided that it would be well deserved that I receive the a ring for the time I spent with them.”
Varejao was a long-time Cleveland Cavalier (like, since 2004) before he was dealt to the Portland Trailblazers in February of 2016. He was immediately waived by Portland, and picked up by Golden State a few days later, who would go on to face Varejão’s Cavs in the 2016 NBA Finals.
The Cavs famously overcame a 3-1 deficit to win the 2016 NBA Finals, and good sports they are, offered Varejão a championship ring for all he’d done for the franchise, not just in the 2015-2016 season but as aggregate appreciate for the decade-plus he spent in Cleveland. Accepting a ring from a team he played against in the NBA Finals didn’t seem right to Varejão, so he politely declined; he was, after all, a Golden State Warrior at that point.
Fast forward to last season, where Varejão re-signed with the Warriors following their successful championship run only to be waived in February. The Varejão-less Warriors went on to defeat LeBron and the Cavs in the third consecutive Warriors vs. Cavaliers NBA Finals. After they finished celebrating, the Warriors got together and said, “You know what, we should send a ring to that Brazilian guy with the funny hair. He deserves one.”
And they’re right. Varejão will never get another shot at winning a ring. Though he’ll be best remembered by those outside Brazil as a big man with funny hair who fell down a little too easy, Varejão was a workhorse in the NBA for years. Only a bizarre set of circumstances prevented him from getting a ring the traditional way.
It’s something he’ll cherish for the rest of his life.
The Warriors didn’t need more good juju to continue building their dynasty, but sending Anderson Varejão a ring shows what kind of franchise they are: one so loaded with talent they can send extra NBA Championship rings to guys who don’t even play on the team.