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For such a normal, laid-back guy, a lot’s been said and written about Matthew Dellavedova – who went from undrafted free agent to the NBA’s biggest stage in two short seasons, capping his first run in Cleveland with a World Championship.
Delly, himself, isn’t what reporters would call a “good quote.” The Aussie guard is a straight-shooter who doesn’t get caught up in the window dressing. But there are some strong opinions about the local legend.
So let’s see what Delly’s had to say – and what’s been said about him – over the years …
Coach J.B. Bickerstaff on what Delly meant to the young Cavaliers last season …
“Delly’s been great this entire season. He has been in and out, his minutes have been kind of sporadic, but he is always prepared.
”You watch him in the gym, he’s one of the hardest workers in the gym every single day. He takes care of his body, he helps the young guys even when he is not on the floor and he’s not playing. He’s a guy that you’d have on your team in any situation.
”If you’re in the current situation that we’re in, if you are a Championship team, no matter what it may be, Delly is the type of guy you want on your team. Especially for us, we’re grateful because we are building something here and as a veteran player, he is a role model and he shows the young guys what it’s like to be a professional and how it is to prepare every single day.”
Matthew Dellavedova on the possibility of coaching after his playing days are over …
”I’d definitely like to coach in some way, because I love the game.
”The point guard has to be the connection between the coach and the team on the floor. It’s the point guard’s job to make sure the team is running smoothly, and you have to do whatever the team needs to be successful.
”I can’t speak to other positions because all I’ve ever played is point guard, so that’s how I’ve always thought and that’s how I’ve been taught to think.”
Andrew Bogut after learning that Delly missed the Cavs team bus after Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals – (needing to Uber back) – and whether he’d have given his fellow Boomer a ride back to the hotel …
“Probably not now. Maybe in the regular season.
”It's all right. Uber isn't that expensive. He'll be okay.”
Matthew Dellavedova when told about Bogut’s response …
“Oh, that’s not very nice of him.”
Anderson Varejao after a victory in Orlando back in 2013 …
"He’s our pit bull.
He gets in the game and he’s like: 'Grrrrrrrrr!!!'
Matthew Dellavedova on what he missed about Cleveland after being traded back to the Cavs in December 2018 …
”The food, obviously. I was back to Lucky's Cafe the other day. Mamocho. Definitely the food.
But especially the people. The people in Cleveland are special. I've got a lot of special memories here.
It's good to be back. I wasn't expecting that reception when I came back. But I really appreciate it and it makes me and my family feel really welcome.”
Tristan Thompson on what he missed about Delly …
”I’m glad my Aussie brother is back. Brings us veteran leadership, a guy that’s won before, a guy that’s going to push Collin, control the game for the second unit, and he’ll make shots.
”Plus, he’s good at throwing lobs to me, so I’m really happy about that.”
Matthew Dellavedova on what it’s like being a normally chill guy getting booed by an entire arena, as he was in Atlanta during the 2016 Playoffs …
”To be honest, I didn’t really notice too much. It was just loud.
”I’m pretty locked in on work and what I have to do on both ends of the floor. You don’t really notice, and it’s something I’ve heard before, playing in college or playing with the (Australian) national team – playing against Spain in Spain, that’s probably as loud as it can get.
”It doesn’t bother me. Fans are fans and it’s good that they’ve got a good bit of support here for the Hawks. But obviously, I think our fans are the best in the league, so it’s always fun playing (in Cleveland).”
Kevin Love on Delly’s performance – handing out a Cavs season-high 14 assists – in a home win over Denver on March 7 …
”It seems just kind of like, whether it's myself or Larry, Dre, Tristan – sometimes we get ourselves going rebounding the basketball on the offensive or defensive end. For (Delly) tonight, it was getting him some assists.
”Early on, I looked up and he had about seven or eight of them, so I think that got his confidence going and him stepping into that three at the end.
”He's always been a guy that doesn't care about percentages don't care about what he's shooting, he just wants to win and that was a winning play. He stepped into and hit that big three tonight for us.”
Matthew Dellavedova when asked by an Australian reporter during the 2015 Finals if his Aussie rules football background – being taught to go for the ball – might be why his play is misconstrued as “dirty” …
”I'm not too sure of it.
”In Australian sport in general, not just Aussie rules, you're always taught to win the ball.
Former Sixers and Australian National Team head coach Brett Brown on coaching a young Dellavedova in 2009 …
”I don't mean this as an insult at all, but he had this Neanderthal approach. He was (Jack) Dempsey in a ring, not (Muhammad) Ali. A street fighter and a gritty one and it wasn't pretty. He certainly never boasted extreme athleticism.
”When you saw him in his young ages, you had an immediate attraction to his toughness and a curiosity and uncertainty about where he would end up.”
Matthew Dellavedova on what he would say to his doubters and whether that doubt adds extra motivation …
”I mean, I don't really pay attention to anything outside of the locker room because none of that stuff really matters.
”As for the motivation part, it's the NBA Finals, and if you need to be looking for extra motivation, you probably shouldn't be playing.”
LeBron James when asked about Atlanta’s players labeling Dellavedova “dirty” during the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals …
”What are we really talking about? Are we going to talk about us trying to win basketball games or about those guys trying to figure out a way that Matthew Dellavedova is this type of … this guy.
”He works his tail off every single day. He beats the odds, and he comes to play as hard as he can every single night. If they're focused on Delly, then they're focused on the wrong thing.
”Obviously, I'm a little bit off about it because this is my guy, this is my teammate, and this is a guy that goes out and works his tail off every single night, and people are trying to give him a bad rap.
”He doesn't deserve it. And I don't like it.”
Matthew Dellavedova on his early athletic background back in tiny Maryborough, Australia …
”I grew up playing everything, pretty much.
”Australian football, soccer, tennis, a tiny bit of cricket, a bit of field hockey. It was a small country town and everybody plays everything.
”It’s really good fun.”
Coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Dellavedova after handing out 14 dimes – one night after doubling-up in a victory over San Antonio – following a win over Denver …
“(Delly) can orchestrate the game by himself.
”There's things that he sees out of plays that we call and the way the defense guards it. He can recognize where a weakness may be the next time we run it and he can get us back to it on his own.
”He is what coaches dream about from that standpoint as being able to just orchestrate a game on his own and it's all about the team. I mean it's plays to make everyone else feel like they're involved and then the courage to take that shot down the stretch and knock down the three.
”It speaks to his character, you think about the minutes for him have been up and down and he's never wavered in his approach. He's a pro and he's great for our team and is great for our young guys.”
Matthew Dellavedova on his two stints in Cleveland and his role with the Cavaliers …
”From the first time I was here, I’m more of a veteran-type compared to being one of the younger guys. But even when I was younger guy, I didn't feel that inexperienced because I had already played internationally quite a bit and four years of college.
So I'm just trying to help guys out with what I'm seeing out there – different reads and things – that they can use and trying to communicate on both ends. Like, a lot of teams run similar actions, or I'll explain different (opposing) players’ tendencies, things like that.
I think that's the point guard's role – to make sure everyone on the floor is organized on both ends of the floor. And then, you know, as one of the leaders of the team, just try to make sure everybody knows what they're doing and keep everyone focused.