UPDATE (12:00pm ET): The Cavaliers have decided not to fine or suspend Rodney Hood for refusing to play in Game 4, according to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt.
Hood met with the Cavaliers on Tuesday morning and feels bad for causing a distraction, according to Zillgitt.
The following is the original Def Pen story:
The Cavaliers managed to complete their 4-0 sweep of the Raptors on Monday, decimating the team in a 128-93 victory — but not every player was thrilled with the situation.
Cavs guard Rodney Hood, who’s largely been out of the rotation in recent weeks, refused to enter the game upon being called to check in by coach Tyronn Lue, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic.
When the Cavs called a timeout with a 30-point lead, and 7:38 left Monday, Lue tried inserting Hood for 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.
“This is the Playoffs. We’re trying to win a championship,” one Cavs player told The Athletic. “This isn’t about you.”
Needless to say, the stunt Monday has damaged his relationship with those in the locker room. Unless he comes up with a really good excuse in the next 24-48 hours, a suspension could be coming and it’s not out of the question that he doesn’t see the court again for a while.
Hood, who was traded from Utah to Cleveland on trade deadline day, has mostly been disappointing with the Cavaliers. He’s shooting under 40 percent from the floor and 13 percent from 3-point range in these Playoffs.
It’s expected that Hood will meet with general manager Koby Altman in the coming days, where a consequence will then be determined for Hood.
Hood reaches restricted free agency on July 1.