Australian Matthew Dellavedova is now a hero.
Born in 1990 in Maryborough, near Bendigo in Victoria, Dellavedova has taken an express lift into the stratosphere of American sports stardom, following some stand-out games.
In the finals of the US national basketball league for the Cleveland Cavaliers, stadiums full of fans now chant his nickname: “Delly! Delly!”. His face, with its sandy-coloured beard, has made it onto the front pages of newspapers across America.
But Delly is not the star of the Cavaliers. Or he’s not supposed to be, anyway.
His team includes LeBron James, named four times the NBA’s most valuable player and a basketballer many say is the best of his generation.
James’ pay is the sixth highest in the NBA. In 2014-15 he made US$20.6 million. His next highest paid teammate on the Cavaliers made US$15.7 million. Dellavedova got US$816,000. Then you have to add in endorsements. James made $44 million this year.
NBA pay is always an issue.
The NBA has a Gini coefficient of 0.52, according to one estimate
, making it more unequal than Mexico
Every team has players that make as much as top CEOs, living, travelling, eating and playing alongside players who make a lot less. (The lowest paid player in the NBA
in 2014-15 got US$29,000, according to ESPN statistics. David Stockton was on court for 26 minutes this year, took 9 shots and made 7 points).
The pay distribution shows most NBA players clustered at the bottom.