After his 12 seasons as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ starting center concluded, Anderson Varejao signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
Varejao—who averaged career bests in 2012-13 with 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds per game—was a member of the Warriors from 2015-17 and played in just 36 games over two seasons after battling injury. His role with Golden State was minimal as he was the team’s third-string center, but Vareajo made great friends with a number of his teammates.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson and Varejao became best buds while he was in the Bay Area and the two were inseparable, but nobody really knew how close they were.
On Wednesday, Nov. 14, ESPN’s Amin Elhassan appeared on an episode of the Warriors Wednesday podcast and he admitted when Varejao was waived by Golden State in February 2017, Thompson was shaken up.
“Someone told me that when [Anderson] Varejao got cut, Klay [Thompson] went into this deep depression and at that time, that was the first time that anyone on the team realized that that was Klay’s best friend,” Elhassan said. “No one even knew until he got cut and Klay was all sad, and they were all like ‘Oh snap, that’s your boy?’ And it turns out, that was his on the road buddy, they’d go to dinner together, and they’d you know, have a couple of drinks together and stuff like that.”
In Varejao’s final season with the Warriors in 2016-17 and final one of his career, he averaged 1.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 6.6 minutes per game. Varejao, who was 34-years-old at the time, appeared in just 14 games. Golden State won the 2017 NBA Title later that year without the veteran center, and the team offered him a ring for his duties earlier in the year—Vareajo accepted.
During the 2017 NBA Finals, Varejao delivered a gift to his former teammate and best friend Klay Thompson on behalf of Clube de Regatas do Flamengo of Brazil. Flamengo is the professional Brazilian basketball club Varejao still plays for today in 2018.
Nothing like two best friends meeting up after an NBA front office had to split their friendship in half. Thompson and Vareajo seemed right back at home in the video with Thompson referring to Varejao as “Andy.”
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