Crank That Coup: With Andy Back, LeBron and Co. Dance Around the Boos

Cavs fans weren’t sure how they were going to greet Anderson Varejao in his return to the team. After all, he and his agent, Dan Fegan, did just execute some super-sneaky maneuvering on Danny Ferry, who’s like our uncle that we barely love. And even though Varejao missed a quarter of the season, ruined his good-guy image, and signed for less money than the Cavs originally offered, Fegan is so conniving we can’t help but assume that this is all according to his master-plan. It's sort of -- exactly? -- like when Jack Nicholson's Joker was thrown into that vat of acid. We see his hand sticking out, grasping the air, and we just know his diabolical ways are far from done screwing the Cavs. Then again, maybe not; who knows? (For the record, Brian Windhorst doesn't).
Despite all the underhandedness, though, it is still Andy Varejao, and it is still his hair — the same mop debated on and reported on from Japan. Anyway, the fans couldn't boo if they wanted to, because LeBron got all Karl Rove on our asses, master-minding (or so he claims) a political coup on the fans by coming off the bench at the same time as Varejao. Cavs fans can’t even say the word “boo” as LeBron comes into a game, lest a vicious tsunami form on Lake Erie and destroy Quicken Loans Arena. Shit, booing is overrated anyway, when the team plays like this. Everybody did everything right, which included the Pacers sucking and, late in the fourth-quarter, LeBron executing to perfection the “Soulja Boy” dance for an entire two-minute timeout. The jumbo-tron operators were on point too, unveiling a short that had mascot Moondog running from a guy in a Vick jersey. (It’s called Kick Him While He’s Down, and it feels great.) Then there was the promotion for free Taco Bell chalupas if the Cavs scored 100, which had the stadium chanting “CHA-LU-PA” for a solid minute when the team was stuck on 98. Whoever came up with that is the LBJ of marketing. Speaking of LeBron, having a locker next to him seems like it would be great — hand-me-down diamonds and unwanted Faberge eggs — but Sasha Pavlovic can attest: it means eating pizza in your bath towel and watching LeBron speak to reporters for half an hour every night before the hoard disperses so you can change. Tonight at least, LeBron wasn’t the only attraction for the reporters. Varejao tried to thwart us all with the very-long-shower trick, but a small crowd stuck it out. “Me flashback to no speak english,” he joked when he saw us waiting, before shutting down all talk of his hold-out and, even more cruelly, his opinion on Aveda's new line of conditioners. Lastly, when TVs showed ESPN’s footage of Atlanta’s Al Horford walloping Toronto’s T.J. Ford in the face, the Cavs in the locker room were indignant. Ford, who missed the 2004-05 season with neck problems, was carted from the court on a stretcher. The players speculated that his career is over. LeBron, God bless him, speculated that somebody shoulda got his ass beat. “Toronto didn’t fight?” he said, watching the ugly replay. “Nobody on Toronto did nothing? That crazy.” -- Gus Garcia-Roberts