As the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers get set to meet for the second time this season since their NBA Finals matchup, a recent poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times claims a panel of coaches, assistants and players says the two teams possess a pair of the league’s dirtiest players.
Those two being Warriors’ center Andrew Bogut and Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova.
The poll included 24 voting members, consisting of head coaches, assistant coaches and players—all spoke on the terms of anonymity, and listed their top-five of the NBA’s dirtiest players. Dellavedova certainly isn’t making very many friends on the court, he garnered the most votes, 13, six more than who the group claims is the next dirtiest, Oklahoma City center Steven Adams, who received seven votes.
“Wow! Delly and Bogut are both from Australia,” a player from the Eastern Conference said to the Times. “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.”
Bogut came in third place with five votes in the poll, and at least one Western Conference player opined that the seven-foot center might go out of his way to hurt his opponents.
“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.”
A coach from the Western Conference had worse things to say about Dellavedova, claiming the 25-year-old is “as dirty as they come.” The coach cited Dellavedova’s incident during last year’s playoff matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, where the Aussie’s play resulted in injury to Kyle Korver, and was followed by ankle surgery.
“When you’re hurting people, that is not OK,” the coach said.
“He was kind of dirty in the playoffs, for sure,” an East coach said. “He broke Kyle Korver’s leg. He held Taj Gibson with his legs and Al Horford’s legs and got them kicked out the games because they retaliated against him.”
Some of the more old school Eastern Conference head coaches and assistants didn’t believe that Dellavedova was dirty, just that his style of basketball is from a different generation. Two made likeness of him to John Stockton, the retired point guard who played alongside Karl Malone with the Utah Jazz. Ironically, Stockton was once considered among the dirtiest of players in his generation, he often set illegal screens, and was quick to give you a torso shot while fighting for real estate.
Memphis forward Matt Barnes and Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka rounded out the bottom two of the top-five.
Information from the Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.
David Barclay is a Bay Area Sports Insider for byteclay.com. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @DJamesIII