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Cleveland Cavaliers forward Rodney Hood spoke with reporters on Thursday to address reports that he refused to check into Game 4 in the fourth quarter. The Athletic reports that Hood was told by Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue to get onto the court with 7:38 remaining and his team up by 30 points, but he refused, which led to Jose Calderon coming into the game instead.
According to the Basketball Insiders’ Spencer Davies, Hood has already apologized to Lue for the way he handled the situation. Earlier today, Hood delivered his side of the story to the media, explaining that his refusal to enter the game had more to do with getting teammate Jose Calderon some playing time than his disinterest in stepping onto the court in a blowout.
“It was the end of the game, seven minutes to go, and I saw we had bodies, you know. Jose [Calderon] wanted to go in, and I told them, ‘Just let Jose play.’ But, you know, I should have just went in, there wouldn’t have been no confusion,” Hood explained. “Obviously, I should have known since I didn’t play throughout the duration of the game it was going to look bad, but it wasn’t as people are trying to make it. Next time I’m definitely going to go in. I apologized to T. Lue for any confusion and stuff like that.”
When asked if he refused to play in Game 4, Hood reiterated his intention to let Calderon get some minutes. He did acknowledge that he “should have took it more serious, went in there, got some reps up.”
Hood has struggled to get it going in the playoffs so far, averaging 4.6 points per game while shooting 39.6 percent from the field and 13.3 percent from three-point range. However, Hood can start off on a blank slate on Sunday when the Cavs begin their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Celtics in Boston.