Forbes news journalist: Australia produces dirtiest players in NBA - The Daily Sentry

Forbes news journalist: Australia produces dirtiest players in NBA

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News writer and commentator Mitch Lawrence through an article written for Forbes, said that if there is one thing Australia is good for when it comes to NBA, it would be exporting dirty players.

The journalist named a few players, one of which is Matthew Dellavedova, the Cleveland Cav’s third-year reserve guard, who was voted as the league’s dirtiest player in a poll by the Los Angeles Times.

In a game against Golden State in Cleveland, Dellavedova secured 13 votes, largely off last season’s playoffs, when he became embroiled in several controversial plays during the Cavs’ run to the Finals. Another Aussie finished in the top three. Golden State center Andrew Bogut finished with five votes. Sandwiched in between the Aussies is Oklahoma City center Steven Adams, from New Zealand, who got seven votes.

“So what the heck is going on Down Under – and nearby in the land of the Kiwi, anyway?”

The journalist quoted said Sixers coach Brett Brown, the former Australian Olympic basketball coach who also spent nearly 15 years leading pro teams in Melbourne and Sydney who said that he has utmost respect  for their players.

 “Their version of dirty is my version of competitiveness. They are elite competitors. They represent that Australian spirit in a major way. Having lived in that country and marrying one, I can speak with confidence on the subject.’’
Lawrence said that if the L.A. Times poll which comprised of 24 coaches and players is accurate, then the race has moved ahead of Americans in terms of “setting picks with their elbows extending where they shouldn’t, and giving a competitor a well-timed shove that doesn’t register with the refs.”

He noted that while American players still make up the majority of NBA rosters, only Matt Barnes of the Memphis Grilies, made it to the top five of the aforementioned poll, while the fifth member of the “All-Dirty Team” was Sege Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder who originated from Congo.

Graham notes that before his Sixers lost to the Knicks in double OT in Madison Square Garden, Brown defended the trio from Australia and New Zealand, saying, “It is a sporting nation and a physical nation. And I give those three players a lot of credit for being selected to that list.’’

Graham noted that when it comes to aggression, Americans are the most known,naming as an example, John Stockton and Charles Barkley who were known by their peers for their “dirty play”.
“At only 6-1, 170 pounds, Stockton's style of play helped him survive and thrive in a day and age when physical play was not just accepted, but also constituted a major part of the game. Using his tactics to more than hold his own in a 19-year career that ended when he was past his 40th birthday, he left the game holding the NBA records for steals and assists by wide margins.”

Added to the list were Kevin Garnett, Danny Ferry, Dwayne Wayde and Kendrick Perkins.

“Back when the NBA allowed fore more chippy, physical play and there were bench-clearing brawls when things really got ugly, teams had enforcers or dirty players who tried to get under the skin, and in the heads, of the best opponents. Now there’s no fighting, thankfully, and the closest anyone comes to getting into altercations is when players like Dellavedova are suspected of aiming at his opponent’s knees or purposely falling into his opponent’s legs.”

Graham noted that, “Now in Atlanta, and especially in the Hawks’ basketball offices, Dellavedova is Public Enemy No. 1. But he has his defenders who say he's just a super-competitive player who is merely going all-out hard to make the playing field level against better athletes and more talented competitors. Plus, they point out the fact that "Delly'' learned how to play the game as a kid in Australia, where they teach children at an early age to use their bodies in what is a physical brand of basketball.”