Cleveland Cavaliers

Anderson Varejao Helps Stranded Portuguese-Speaking Pair Return from Cleveland

Nov 30, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao (17) celebrates beating the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. The Cavaliers won 113-111. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 13, 2013

Anderson Varejao had the best passing season of his NBA tenure in 2012-13, averaging 3.4 dimes per game, but he just got the coolest assist of his career. 

As reported by B/R's own Brendan Bowers on StepienRules.com, the Cleveland Cavaliers big man helped serve as a translator for a Portuguese-speaking group stuck at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport. With Varejao's help, the two Brazilian travelers were able to make it onto a connecting flight to Miami, then safely arrived at home after staying overnight in a hotel. 

The two travelers were family members of a Cleveland resident, and Bowers reached out to him in order to gain more information about the situation. Here's what he had to say about his mother, his brother and their floppy-haired helper: 

She didn't know his name. She only knew that he was a tall guy, with funny hair who plays basketball. She asked me to thank this guy for his patience and generosity! Well, this guy turned out to be Anderson Varejao!! Man you are awesome! Thank you so much for helping them!

You have no idea how helpful he was. Imagine my mom who don't speak English and my brother who is mentally challenged totally lost at the airport. And this guy comes and helped them to find a new flight to MIA.

It sounds to me like Varejao, born in Colatina, Brazil, has a few new fans.

That said, it is a little bit surprising that the mother and brother didn't immediately know who the big man was. Varejao is a rather unique-looking NBA player, as not many guys have his combination of size and hairstyle.

Plus there aren't many prominent players from Brazil. Only Leandro Barbosa, Fab Melo, Nene Hilario, Tiago Splitter and Varejao are expected to get much playing time during the 2013-14 season, and Varejao doesn't exactly look like any of the other aforementioned guys. 

But hey, they certainly know who he is now!

The offseason is often filled with negative stories about arrests and ill-advised quotes, but this is a pleasant development for one of the NBA's good guys. There was no need for him to stop and spend what seems like a lot of time helping out a couple of strangers, yet that's exactly what he did. 

Airports aren't exactly friendly places.

They're stressful, crowded and in a constant state of turmoil. Everyone is rushing, and it's rare that you can get as much as a smile from half the people you encounter. 

Let's all take a page out of Varejao's book, even if it's written in Portuguese. 

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