Tomorrow morning at 11:00am Australian Eastern standard time, Australians Andrew Bogut and Matthew Dellavedova will take to the court as The Golden State Warriors take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the NBA final series.
For some of you, you will know who Andrew Bogut is but who is this Matthew Dellavedova? The 24 year old Dellavedova hails from Maryborough, Victoria and his path to the NBA has been a bit different. Dellavedova wasn’t a number one draft pick and he isn’t on as much money as Bogut is (Bogut was named Australia’s highest paid athlete by BRW for 2014).
Dellavedova played college basketball at St Marys in California, he was picked up by the Cavaliers as an undrafted free agent and played in the summer league for the them (the summer league is where the draft picks and free agents go to play against one another giving them a taste of the NBA). The Cavaliers signed Dellavedova to a two year 1.3 million dollar contract in September 2013. Dellavedova played 72 games in the 2013-14 season only starting in four games that season and averaged 17.7 minutes per games as the Cavaliers ran 10th in the NBA’s Eastern conference and did not qualify for the playoffs.
Though the 2014-15 season has been Dellavedovas break out season it didn’t start out that way, with the Australian missing 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprain. Dellavedova made his comeback in the Cavaliers 110-88 win on December 8th. After the comeback Dellavedova was picked to play in the NBA ‘Rising Stars’ game, an exhibition game that is part of the NBA’s All-Star weekend. He has started in 13 games out of 67 that he has played this season and is averaging 4.8 points per game.
Well enough of the background info and onto the question at hand, is Dellavedova a dirty player? some media and fans have said yes, why? Because he plays hard and is in your face defensively. This has angered and frustrated some opposition, the perfect example being when Al Horford from the Atlanta Hawks was ejected during game three of the Eastern conference finals for dropping an elbow onto Dellavedova. Some people might think that it’s dirty but Dellavedova is just doing what he has to realise his dream of playing in the NBA, it’s hard to make in Australia as a professional athlete imagine what it would be like trying to make it in the US. The good thing is that Dellavedova is not letting what people say change his style.
Good luck to both Bogut and Dellavedova and the rest of the players, if Aussie fans would like to watch the game ESPN Australia on Foxtel will be showing the game.