Report: Rodney Hood refused to go into Game 4 in fourth quarter
The Cleveland Cavaliers cruised to a series-clinching win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday, but it sounds like the sweep was not enough to make one member of the team happy.
Rodney Hood played zero minutes in the contest for the first time this postseason. Jason Lloyd of The Athletic reports that Hood was told to check into the game during the fourth quarter, but he refused.
When the Cavs called a timeout with a 30-point lead and 7:38 left Monday, (Tyronn) Lue tried inserting Hood for (LeBron) James. It was a great opportunity for a struggling youngster to try to find his rhythm without any pressure before the next series. Instead, Hood refused to go in, multiple sources confirmed. A number of veterans huddled around him during the timeout and tried talking sense into him, but Hood still refused to go, so Jose Calderon subbed into the game instead. Hood dressed quickly and was one of the first players out of the locker room after the game.
Hood has not played well in the playoffs, and Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said before Game 4 that the 25-year-old guard “could be better” and knows it. He has averaged just 4.6 points and shot less from 40 percent from the field, missing his last 10 3-point attempts.
“This is the playoffs. We’re trying to win a championship,” one Cavs player told Lloyd when asked about Hood refusing to play. “This isn’t about you.”
Cavs GM Koby Altman is reportedly planning to meet with Hood to discuss Monday’s incident and give him an opportunity to tell his side of the story, but the belief is that he was “pouting,” as Lloyd puts it. Hood’s teammates are understandably upset with him, and it’s possible Cleveland could suspend him.
Hood isn’t the first Cavs player to seemingly have an issue with his role since the playoffs began, but worrying about yourself in a game in which your team just completed a sweep to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals is a terrible look. Hood is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, and this isn’t going to help his stock.