Rodney Hood might have some explaining to do, but there probably isn’t much he can say to help his case at this point.
The Cleveland Cavaliers guard refused to enter the game in the fourth quarter of his team’s 128-93 series-clinching win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday, sources told The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd. The 25-year-old has seen his minutes dwindle throughout the Cavs’ playoff run, with Monday’ night’s DNP representing a new low.
With 7:30 remaining and victory imminent, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue called timeout and tried to insert Hood, according to Lloyd. But the pending restricted free agent refused, despite the efforts of his teammates to “talk sense” into him.
Hood reportedly has dealt with stiffness throughout his career, but his decision Monday night was all about “pouting,” rather than concern over not being loose and potentially injuring himself.
As you might expect, Hood’s teammates were not impressed.
“This is the playoffs. We’re trying to win a championship,” a Cavs player told Lloyd. “This isn’t about you.”
Those who know Hood well probably aren’t surprised with his actions.
“(Hood) is not built for (the playoffs),” an opposing executive texted Lloyd before the postseason began.
Acquired from the Utah Jazz at the NBA trade deadline, Hood mostly has been a disappointment in Cleveland. He averaged just 10.8 points in 25.3 minutes per game over 21 regular-season games with the Cavs, and his 3-point percentage of .352 left much to be desired. And through 10 games this postseason, he’s managed just 4.6 points in 17 minutes per game.
Cavs general manager Koby Altman reportedly will meet with Hood soon to discuss the incident, and a fine and/or suspension is possible.