Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova is known as one of the more infamous agitators in the NBA and he lived up to his reputation on Saturday night. With a play the Wizards deemed dirty, he became a new and worthy addition to their long list of villains.
Midway through the fourth quarter of the Wizards' 110-103 loss, Wizards guard Bradley Beal drove past Dellavedova on a fastbreak. Instead of guarding the ball, Dellavadova grabbed Beal by the shoulders and pulled him to the ground. Both teams converged and the result was a rejection for Dellavedova.
It was a physical play, but one that clearly crossed the line. It was essentially a horse collar tackle, a play that isn't even allowed in the NFL, and the Wizards were understandably upset about it afterwards.
"There's no place in the game for that," Beal said. "It's the difference between making a play on the ball and wrapping your arms around somebody's neck."
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"It should never happen. Those plays should never happen," head coach Scott Brooks said. "It's a professional respect that you want to play with."
Dellavedova was levied a flagrant two foul which equals an automatic ejection. The NBA will now review the play and determine if further punishment is necessary.
Dellavedova seemed to have a different impression of the play than everyone else. When asked what happened, he said he tried to "hold him up and he slipped." Despite being on the court during the review and heading to the locker room early, he said he hadn't seen the replay when he met the media afterwards. Surely, the Wizards will believe that.
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No one on the Wizards was happy with Dellavedova's actions and point guard John Wall had more to say than anyone. He was on the court at the time and saw it all unfold.
He wasn't surprised given Dellavedova's history as a pest.
"I feel like he's a dirty player," Wall said. "Whatever they're team and people say and other people can vouch for him, to me I always thought he was a dirty player."
Like Beal and Brooks, Wall thought what Dellavedova did does not belong in the game. He pointed out how Beal could have sustained a concussion when he hit the floor.
Wall also noted how Dellavedova is known for reckless plays like undercutting players when boxing out for rebounds. Basically, Wall doesn't like Dellavedova much at all.
Just minutes before the dustup with Beal, Wall and Dellevadova had a back-and-forth during a free throw attempt by Giannis Antetokounmpo. It was an argument about which team was getting more calls from the refs and Jodie Meeks stepped in between them.
"Stop talking to me like that," Wall said of what he told Dellavedova. "You're not my guy. You're not my buddy on the court. We have no reason to [talk to each other]."
The Wizards and Bucks won't have to wait long to see each other again. The rematch is on Jan. 15 in D.C. That should be a good one.