Cavs’ Junkyard Dog Chain is back and Robin Lopez is the first to earn it

Lopez debuted in the regular season in the Cavs’ 128-96 victory over the Bulls, scoring 12 points

Since JB Bickerstaff took over as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, he has had a clear vision of how he wants his team to play; gritty, dynamic, defense-oriented basketball that shares the ball, creates turnovers, and clears the glass.

Players bought. Look no further than the jerseys they wear on the court in practice.

“Win the Scrap” is a motto emblazoned on T-shirts often seen on Cleveland Clinic Courts at this training ground. A clear message that the team wants to embrace a “tough to play against” mentality.

But it’s just the most recent example. One of the most popular souvenirs handed out following victories in previous years was the Junkyard Dog Chain.

This year, it’s back. And Robin Lopez is his latest Junkyard Dog.

Lopez made her Cavalier debut on Saturday night. scoring 12 points in 15 minutes and going 6-of-7 from the field. Lopez caught his first five shots from the field and perfected a hook shot that will become a Cleveland sport cult classic if it continues at this rate.

The Cavs brought in Lopez as a free agent in July. In his 15th season in the NBA, Lopez was hired to be a high-character guy who brings a balance of seasoned experience and depth to the Cavs’ young core.

Lopez said it was gratifying to win the chain in his first regular season game. He was praised by his teammates for his personality in this training camp and throughout pre-season. Lopez said his goal for the season was to be clumsily effective.