Anderson Varejao: I want to retire in Cleveland

Anderson Varejao: I want to retire in Cleveland


Anderson Varejao: I want to retire in Cleveland

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Did you ever think that you would be playing with LeBron again after The Decision?

Anderson Varejao: I did! I wasn't sure when, but I thought there was a chance for him to come back. I didn't expect it now, but eventually, because he's from there, I thought there was a chance. 

He always has shown love for the city of Cleveland, but I guess people thought that maybe he was going to return in the twilight of his career, not in his prime like he has done.

AV: Yes, and now he's here with us again. All these years there were a lot of people on my ear telling me that I should ask for a trade because LeBron wasn't there and the team was in a rebuilding process. They told me I should leave, that I should go to another team and try to help win a title and I always said no, I won't. I don't need to leave. I like the city, I like the people here, and I'm going to keep fighting through this. And now that LeBron is back the people is telling me I did the right thing [laughs].  

Now that Kevin Love is your teammate, will your role change?

AV: I don't think it's going to change. I played with LeBron for six years and what I did was playing defense, setting screens for everybody, fighting for every rebound and being ready on the offensive side when I get the ball.

Kyrie Irving is with Team USA. Do you think this World Cup will help him for the NBA season?

AV: Playing in Spain will be good for him in terms of experience, but things are going to be good for him playing with LeBron as well. He's going to learn a lot from LeBron. I believe this season he could play more like Chris Paul, not having to score so much. Now that we have LeBron, Love and all the guys who can score he's not going to need to go to the basket as much. 

The title is the goal.

AV: We can talk about that now. We're going to fight for the title no doubt. I think if we all stay healthy this season, it's going to go down to that. This season San Antonio won because they got hot at the right time and now I think we really have a good chance to win the ring.

But the Spurs' core has been together for so many years… Do you think the team will have a good chemistry soon?

AV: Sometimes it takes some time to have it, for everybody to get on the same page, to know what to do. And we have a new coach, new system, a lot of new things going on. But we're going to have to stay patient and grow as a team.

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How has been the reaction in the city after LeBron's return?

AV: All my friends were in Cleveland when LeBron announced that he was coming back and they told me 'Oh my God the city's going crazy right now.' It's good to see Cleveland like that, I'm happy for Cleveland, I love it.

You've played 10 seasons in the NBA, all of them in Cleveland. You will be in a contract year this season. What do you expect?

AV: I want to stay in Cleveland, I really don't think about that. They know what I want to do, they know I want to stay.

Would you like to retire in Cleveland?

AV: I want to.

What can you tell us about the Raptors drafting Brazilian forward Bruno Caboclo?

AV: It was a susprise to me. I had seen him twice, during an NBA Cares event in Brazil, and the other time was in a 3×3 Tournament in Brazil. He was in the dunk competition. I never saw him play, but I've heard a lot of good things about him.

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