News » Mavs to Cav: Tongue in check?

Mavs to Cav: Tongue in check?

Mavs to Cav: Tongue in check?

Plain Dealer columnist Bud Shaw puts news from the sports world through his spin cycle

Maybe Anderson Varejao was talking to a Cuban guy named Mark?

The Dallas Mavericks - and Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao through a source - are denying that Varejao has talked twice with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban over the past month, let alone that they talked contract.

Since any contact before the July 1 free-agency kickoff date would constitute tampering on the part of the Mavericks, the initial report caused quite a stir around the NBA.

Two firm denials should put this story to rest, right?

I mean how does this kind of scandalous rumor mongering get started?

"I've had two conversations with [Dallas Mavericks owner] Mark Cuban this month and he offered me a three-year deal worth $11 million [about $19 million U.S.]," a Brazilian blog quoted Varejao saying as part of an interview that touched on many other subjects. "But I told him that I would like to remain in Cleveland, unless they do not want to renew my contract and I can analyze the proposal of Dallas."


There is the possibility that something got lost in the Portuguese-to-Portuguese translation. But just in case, the NBA needs to investigate.

Rumors at this time of the year are as rampant as we've seen with talk of the Cavaliers trading for Shaquille O'Neal. Another has them biding their time until 2010 and offering Houston center Yao Ming a chance to team with LeBron James when their respective contracts expire.

The difference, case by case:

1). The Cavs did talk to Phoenix about Shaq at the trade deadline. The playoffs drove home the message that someone is needed to put a body - or even just a part of one - on Dwight Howard next time around.

2). Yao is quoted as calling the prospect of joining the Cavs "unknown" and downplaying the possible importance of the association such a signing would give him with the Chinese group that bought a minority interest in the Cavaliers .

3). In the case of Varejao-Cuban, Varejao is the one quoted saying it happened.

3a). Twice.

The other reason for the NBA to check into it: What is Cuban known for, aside from failing to establish the sweatshirt as a staple of modern fashion?

I'll tell you. He's known for railing against the standard operating procedures of the NBA. And he's known for not being able to keep his mouth shut, engaging players (and sometimes their mothers) at courtside.

Those are the two major elements of the Varejao quote.

The Mavs, to no one's surprise, call the report ridiculous.

Just the same, case open.

Board room

The next logical step is hacky sack in the Rose Garden.

Invited to the White House as part of a Father's Day celebration, Tony Hawk apparently used some of his time there to skateboard inside the grand foyer of the Old Executive Office Building.

It was unclear whether the Obama administration gave Hawk approval or whether Hawk used the occasion to further his activism on behalf of the sport that has made him rich. Besides his philanthropic efforts, the 41-year-old Hawk has consistently tried to drive home the point that skateboarding is not a crime.

Some see skateboarding at the White House as more than a simple breach of decorum.

"I'm sure Tony Hawk is a good guy, but is nothing sacred anymore?" conservative talk show host Rusty Humphries said. "Why don't we just send him over to the Wailing Wall to go skate there. I'm sure maybe he can grind that."

Wailing Wall? You mean the outside of Cleveland Browns Stadium, or the one in Israel?

Look, it's not as if Hawk was riding an altar rail at The Vatican. It's the White House. I don't want to name names, but given what one recent president did while living there, skateboarding doesn't seem so bad.

On a role

It's only a movie, unfortunately.

More thoughts on casting for a Browns and Cavaliers version of "Major League":

From reader comments: Snoop Dogg as Dont? Stallworth, Vin Diesel as Kellen Winslow II, Burgess Meredith as Sam Rutigliano, Dan Lauria as George Kokinis.

From Facebook: Ron Jeremy as Stan Van Gundy, Kevin James as Eric Mangini, Jeff Bridges as Rob Ryan.

From e-mails: Ron Howard as Phil Savage, and Don Rickles as Art Modell.

Give him the 'works

When pitching past Flag Day is a milestone, cherry bombs and bottle Rockets can't be far behind.

Carl Pavano, one of the relative bright spots in the Indians' season before his past two outings, missed a start to rest his tired arm and said, "It's been a couple years since I pitched to this point in the season."

Pavano pitched a total of 45 2/3 innings in the past two regular seasons. He's thrown 81 2/3 in 2009. He hasn't thrown more than 100 innings in five years due to injuries.

If he's still in the rotation July 4, there should be fireworks shows all over the city.


Not that Roger Goodell is getting carried away in his role as the Hanging Commissioner, but sources say he has suspended Maurice Clarett four games just for dreaming about a return to the NFL.

The report on Indians new reliever Mike Gosling is that "he's more of a strike thrower." Than the rest of the bullpen? You don't say.

You said it


"Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result each time. Does this mean that repeatedly pitching Rafael Perez qualifies as insane?" - Jeff

Unless they bring him in to relieve Fausto Carmona in the Arizona Rookie League, yes.


"Hi, Bud:

"We don't always get the straight story on Cleveland sports way down here in Cincinnati. Is it true that Eric Mangini has used waterboarding techniques to toughen up the Browns?" - Vince

Actually, his idea to toughen them was to have them watch the last six games of the 2008 season. They opted for waterboarding.



"Is it true that Florida authorities are looking to save a lot of money keeping Dont? Stallworth under house arrest? Instead of using GPS surveillance, electronic monitoring, or ankle bracelets, I heard they're just going to station a safety and a cornerback by his front door. That way, he'll never get loose." - Mark.

Not true, Mark. They do not believe it will require double coverage.

To reach Bud Shaw:, 216-999-5639

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Added: June 22, 2009


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