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More than a flopper

04.12.09 at 7:13 pm ET
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Anderson Varejao has been called a flopper. He has been called emotional. But the  Celtics’ front office has another name for him.

“He’s a beast, though,” Celtics managing partner Steve Pagliuca said on Celtics Now. “He’s a beast.”

Varejao made an impression when he worked out with the Celtics prior to the 2004 NBA Draft. Even though they decided to go with Al Jefferson a the 15th pick (Varejao was later picked up by Cleveland at the 30th spot), his workout was still memorable five years later.

“We tried him out for the Celtics and I thought we had to stop the tryout because he was going to kill somebody,” Pagliuca said. “He was hacking. I thought our players were in jeopardy. He’s a very physical player.”

That day stood out to Varejao as well. He recalls going hard against David Harrison, who was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 29th pick that summer.

“It was a very physical workout. I remember that,” Varejao said. “It was pretty physical and that’s what I like. I like to play like that and that’s why he probably remembers me.”

There is no ignoring Varejao this season. He averaged 11 points and 7.8 rebounds in four regular season games against the Celtics. The pairing of 6-foot-11 Varejao and 7-foot-3 Zydrunas Ilgauskas has stifled the Cs down low without Kevin Garnett, Leon Powe, and Brian Scalabrine.

He made another impression on the Celtics on Sunday when he rattled the even-keeled Ray Allen. (Click here for a recap of the Cavaliers 107-76 victory.) They got tangled up trying to box one another out at the line and Allen ended up on the ground. After Allen dealt Varejao an elbow on his way back up, both were called for technical fouls.

“He’s kind of an energy, hard-hitting player,” Pagliuca said.

No kidding. Even though a language barrier prevented Brazilian-born Varejao from receiving compliments from Pagliuca at the time, he still appreciates them five years after his workout.

“That means a lot to me,” he said. “It means a lot because hearing that from somebody who’s in the situation that he’s in right now, and he’s still talking about me, it means a lot. I just want to say thanks for his words.”

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