Last postseason the Cavs' Matthew Dellavedova found himself in a trio of incidents that probably cemented his reputation as a dirty player in the league for the rest of his career. He leg locked Taj Gibson, who kicked him (and got ejected) in return. He ended Kyle Korver's season by rolling up on his ankles. And he also got elbowed by Al Horford for reasons you can see here. This explains why, when polled by the LA Times, two dozen anonymous players, coaches and assistants voted Delly as the league's dirtiest (more accurately 13 people voted him).
In fact, the top five stacks up as follows:
Matthew Dellavedova, Cleveland Cavaliers - 13
Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder - 7
Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors - 5
Matt Barnes, Memphis Grizzlies - 4
Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder - 2
The poll was also peppered with quotes to back up the tallies, including:
"Wow! Delly and Bogut are both from Australia. How about that! Delly is kind of dirty and he does cross the line. But I don't even think it's even close with Bogut. Dellavedova is a little bit wild and out of control."
(On Dellavedova) "He's as dirty as they come. When you're hurting people, that is not OK."
(On Dellavedova) "He ain't dirty. He just plays hard. See, guys resent people that play hard because they don't want to play hard. So if a guy plays hard, he's dirty. He's not dirty. He just plays hard. People question the play he made in the playoffs against Korver. I just think it was poor judgment."
(On Dellavedova) "His stuff really ain't intentional. It's just like goofy. It's not like John Stockton, where John Stockton was calculated. Dellavedova is accidentally dirty. He can't help himself. He's a quality backup point guard."
(On Adams) "The stuff that he does is not cool. He throws elbows, extra hitting dudes away from the ball, hitting them with the chicken wing [elbow] and trying to get a rise out of them. That kind of stuff."
(On Bogut) "He crosses the line with some of the stuff he does. I think he hurts guys. He doesn't always do it, but he goes across the line. What Bogut does is very calculating. He knows what he's doing. His elbows, the way sets screens, grabbing and holding guys."
Still, at least one kind of old school coach scoffed at the notion that today's players are "dirty," instead reflecting on a simpler time where you were free to dish out hard fouls or gouge a guy's nuts as you please:
"I don't think there are any dirty players anymore. Back in the '80s and '90s, you could cheap-shot guys. But now it's a fine, it's a suspension, it's a points system. There's no enforcer like there used to be. Who's an enforcer like Charles Oakley? There's no enforcer because of the rules. How much can a little guard get under your skin? And Dellavedova is a backup. He ain't dirty. None of these guys are dirty."
Almost makes you tear up.
[via LA Times]
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