Varejao leaves camp after family death

Cleveland forward Anderson Varejao was excused from the first day of the Cavaliers’ training camp following his grandfather’s death in Brazil.

Coach Byron Scott said on Tuesday that Varejao is returning to his home country, but didn’t know when he would be back.

”Andy has a family matter that he’s taking care of,” said Scott, who is beginning his first season with the Cavs. ”I talked to him this morning and told him to do just that. Go back there and take care of the family matter. We’ll be here waiting for you when you get back.”

Scott has high expectations for Varejao, who might play center this season following the departures of Shaquille O’Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

On Monday, Varejao said he was still slowed after spraining his ankle during an exhibition game in Spain while preparing for this summer’s world championships. Varejao underwent an MRI, which Scott said came back negative.

Scott plans to run an uptempo offense, and wants his team to be NBA’s best conditioned squad.

There was plenty of running on Day One of Camp Scott.

”Lots,” Scott said. ”Guys came in camp in a lot better shape than I expected, though. So our first real running thing we did today, I kind of cut it short because they were in pretty good shape. The rest of the day went well.”

Guard Daniel ”Boobie” Gibson didn’t mind the leg work.

”We started out running and we ended up running,” Gibson said. ”That’s what practice was all about. As far as cutting something short, we didn’t feel it as players. But thank you, Byron, if that’s what happened.”

Scott had joked that he would line the courts with garbage cans in case players got sick from the end-to-end sprinting.

”I didn’t even put them out,” Scott said. ”I had the feeling guys would be OK. If they wouldn’t have been, we’d have moved them to the side, let them do their business and kept going.”