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#pounditMonday, January 24, 2022

Rodney Hood says playing with LeBron James, Cavs has been ‘tough’

Rodney Hood was a major contributor with the Utah Jazz at the time the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired him earlier this season, but he has essentially been phased out with his new team. As you might expect, that has not been easy for the 25-year-old guard.

In an interview with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Hood opened up being taken out of Tyronn Lue’s rotation during the postseason.

“I was playing at such a high clip when I got traded,” he said. “And then, this is my first time having DNPs in life. The first time shooting two times or five times in a game. Having to adjust is the toughest part. It’s a part of my growth. I’m not going to always be in this state.

“It’s something I can look back on and think, ‘I’ve been through something worse than this. I’ve been through a tough time before.’ It can help me in future endeavors.”

Hood, a restricted free agent this summer, was averaging 16.8 points per game at the time he was traded to the Cavs. He looked like an exciting addition early on, but he has played a total of three minutes in Cleveland’s last six playoff games. While he says he was used to being in the spotlight at Duke, nothing could have prepared him for playing alongside LeBron James.

“This is something different. It has been tough,” Hood said. “The basketball stuff has been the easiest part. The stuff that comes out of it, you lose a game and everyone talks about it on TV the next day. They may say some things that you may not agree with. If you win a game, you’re supposed to. Those kind of things are something I kind of got on a much smaller scale and dealt with at Duke.

“You lose a game and you feel like the world is coming down. You win, it’s like, you’re supposed to win. It’s still a struggle to me to adapt to that.”

Lue keeps saying he has not lost confidence in Hood, but actions speak louder than words. Hood made a selfish decision late in a playoff game against the Toronto Raptors, and it seemed like his fate was sealed from that moment. Don’t expect his role to change in the NBA Finals.

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