Near the end of the third quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova chased Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala in transition and swiped at the ball from behind. Dellavedova ended up making contact with Iguodala’s crotch, and — as you might expect — the reigning Finals MVP did not appear to be happy about it. After the game, Iguodala cleverly called Dellavedova dirty while saying that he respected him.
“There’s a lot of emotions going out there,” Iguodala said. “I respect a lot of guys’ hustles in this league. And you got guys who gotta get a little dirty and gotta get a little physical to make a life and to feed their families. So I can only respect that. And for me it’s just keeping my composure, continuing to try to do things for my team and help us win.”
Iguodala is a smart guy, and he chose his words carefully there, essentially positioning Dellavedova as an irritant who should be ignored. That’s one of the best backhanded compliments in recent NBA history.
Maybe Iguodala really does respect Dellavedova’s style of play. I would not expect him to be in line to purchase the Delly 1, however.