Andrew Bogut, the newest addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ title defense, was unable to participate in shootaround at Cleveland Clinic Courts on Monday because of a work visa issue. The seven-footer was in attendance, and is still expected to dress for Monday night’s game against the Miami Heat, though the team would not say whether or not he would play.
Cavaliers staff insisted that the issue was both minor and routine, and not at all related to the immigration policies of the new White House administration.
Bogut joins the Cavaliers as what is expected to be the final piece of another NBA Finals team in Cleveland, but his role on the team is to be determined in the final month and a half of the regular season.
Reports, and logic, said that Bogut would pick between title contenders based on his minutes and role. Regardless of a team deep with potential options, the former top overall pick landed with the defending champions, who now find themselves with a limited timetable to integrate their new talent.
“Now adding Kyle, D-Will and (Bogut), we’ve got to fast-track it a little more because of the time that we have,” LeBron James said of the remaining 21 regular season games. “But those guys have been playing high-level basketball for a long time, and a lot of the systems are the same, it’s just the terminology. We just have to get the terminology right.”
James maintained that the task would still be difficult, and often times players who are used to contributing at a high level could be left wanting more time. He also said players come to this team willing to make sacrifices.
“I think we all know what we’re here for, for one reason, and that is to defend our title. That’s the main thing. You understand that when you sign,” he said.
“If you’re not angry when you don’t play like you would like to, then we wouldn’t even want you here. That’s the competitive side, that’s the competitive nature that we love. Look at James Jones. … You know what this situation is about. It’s about making this a situation that lasts forever, not just a moment.”