The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Australian point guard Matthew Dellavedova has made the biggest score of his life – a $1.2 million contract.
Dellavedova put in several career-defining performances last season right when it mattered most, in the NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors.
He’d had just 13 starts for the season, but an injury to regular starter Kyrie Irving gave him a ride into the finals. In Game 1, he had to take an Uber back to the hotel because the team bus left him behind.
But in Game 2, Dellavedova held the man some say could be the greatest shooter the NBA has ever seen – Stephen Curry – to a pointless game.
“He’s keeping us alive and putting us on his back, his 6-foot-3 back, and carrying the team,” teammate Tristan Thompson said after that game.
It was around then everyone realised ‘Della’ was on a flaky contract worth just $100,000 in guaranteed cash. And his “annoying” defence was for many, not considered to be in the spirit of the game, especially with moments like these making his highlights reel:
But he had his preseason fans, including former Cavs general manager Chris Grant.
“Grant believed in Dellavedova and his potential, he’d liked his temperament and that his constant aggression at the very least would push young star Kyrie Irving in practices,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote.
And in Game 3 of the finals, he showed he had other tricks up his sleeve:
He scored 20 points and endeared himself to fans by being taken to hospital afterwards for dehydration treatment. He led the Cavs’ scoring in Game 6. And now he’s on a good thing – a ton more guaranteed income, even if he’s now a third-stringer behind Irving and new primary backup point guard Mo Williams.
So are fans thrilled to see the annoying Aussie back for a full season? Well, not exactly:
— Brendon Lucas (@brendonflash) July 27, 2015
— Vaughn (@MoVon_80) July 27, 2015
But that’s the negativity Dellavedova thrives on, and no one can argue it’s worked for him so far.
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