The Cleveland Cavaliers are prepared to let Rodney Hood slide for the greater good.
The team won’t fine or suspend the guard for his reported refusal to play Monday in Game 4 of his team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Toronto Raptors, The Associated Press’ Tom Withers reported Tuesday, citing a source familiar with the situation. The Cavs were leading by 30 points with 7:39 remaining in the fourth quarter when head coach Tyronn Lue told Hood to replace LeBron James. Hood balked, and his refusal to play put him at odds with his team.
Hood reportedly spoke to team officials Tuesday, expressing regret over the incident and telling them he “didn’t want to be a distraction,” according to Withers.
Hood has struggled since Cleveland acquired him at the NBA trade deadline. He averaged just 10.8 points in 25.3 minutes per game over 21 regular-season games with the Cavs. He’s averaging 4.6 points and 17 minutes per game through the Cavs’ first 10 playoff games. Hood won’t be able to improve those numbers if he doesn’t play.
The Cavs swept the Raptors and await either the Boston Celtics or Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference finals.
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