While basketball isn't exactly the biggest sport on the Australian landscape, Aussies playing the game are growing rapidly in stature and respect -- but the latest news around one of our brightest stars isn't all that positive.
Matthew Dellavedova, the 25-year-old Victorian who played a key role in Lebron James' Cleveland Cavaliers charge to the NBA Finals last year, has been named the league's dirtiest player in a poll by the Los Angeles Times.
The Times conducted an anonymous poll of 24 NBA coaches, assistants and players, asking who the dirtiest player was. Dellavedova, the point guard whose perseverance and ability to come up with freak plays, won 13 of those votes.
While 24 people voted, some voted more than once, according to the Times. Dellavedova's fellow Australian NBA star, Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors, came in third with five votes as the league's dirtiest player.
"Wow! Delly and Bogut are both from Australia," the Times reported an Eastern Conference player as saying.
"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."
"He's as dirty as they come," a Western Conference coach said. "When you're hurting people, that is not OK."
Dellavedova came under fire for two plays in particular, where he dived to grab loose balls and injured the knee and ankle of two separate opponents: