It certainly wasn't expected, but the World Team clinched a victory against the US rookie/sophomore crew in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 121-112.
Jazz center Rudy "Stifle Tower" Gobert shone and seemed to be a shoo-in for MVP with highlight blocks and dunks (18 points on 7/10, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks), but teammate Andrew Wiggins took the trophy home by leading the World Team with 22 points (8/11), 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.
— Jason Bennett (@Aussies_Abroad) February 14, 2015
Aussie guards Matthew Dellavedova and Dante Exum made their debut appearances on the All-Star scene this year, and had similar stat lines in this game. They scored 4 points apiece, and clocked similar minutes (16:59 Delly, 16:40 Exum), assists (2 Delly, 3 Exum), and rebounds (4 Delly, 3 Exum).
When asked about playing with Delly, Exum responded with warmth.
Oh yeah. I always love playing with Delly. The Australian style of basketball, sharing the ball. I know we did that today. I found him for a three-point shot, but he missed it and he said sorry (laughs). - post-game via Darrel Wilson
Exum also mentioned about the All-Star Weekend being a learning environment of sorts, and seeing how other fellow players conducted themselves. "It's been a good experience. Just being around this environment, around the media, around some of the other players that are here at All-Star game. Just seeing how they handle themselves. It's been a good and enlightening experience."
Lots of choice quotes from NBA Australia's recap of the Rising Stars Challenge (Exum post-game interview), but this Delly quip on Aussie slang was pretty funny.
“There was a little bit thrown in there, a few guys speak common languages, me and Danté were speaking a bit of Australian so no one could understand us,” he joked. - Exum enjoys first All-Star experience
[gfycat data_id="RegalPolishedFrigatebird" data_autoplay=true data_expand=true]
Here's a little Aussie highlight, which came from a full-court inbound pass. Exum caught the ball, threw it up to Delly, who got the lob back to Exum for an easy finish. It would've looked better with a dunk - just sayin'.
[gfycat data_id="SlipperyBiodegradableHarrier" data_autoplay=true data_expand=true]
Exum swished a turnaround 3-pointer that would have been pretty sweet if it'd counted, but was fired after a foul whistle.
[gfycat data_id="NegligibleSpotlessHoneycreeper" data_autoplay=true data_expand=true] And finally, here's an easy layup from Delly off the high screen.
Wiggins gets Rising Stars MVP
Mates sticking together. Look closely, and you can see Exum having a chuckle with Delly on the right.
Matthew Dellavedova at the Rising Stars Challenge 2015. Image credit Darrel Wilson
ICYMI: Aussie pride! Dellavedova repped Down Under with his green and gold Nike Kobe 8s in the Rising Stars Challenge.
— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) February 14, 2015
“They gave us a pair but I usually like to wear them in a bit, so I brought these Aussie ones to represent Australia." - Exum enjoys first All-Star experience
Delly also thanked everyone back home in Australia for their support.
"Yes, [I have] been getting some texts and messages and there's always a lot of support from back home for all of us over here, so we always appreciate that and look forward to getting home." - post-game via Darrel Wilson
Exum and Delly's Rising Stars Challenge jerseys
— Matthew Dellavedova (@matthewdelly) February 14, 2015
— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) February 13, 2015
Looking really good! Next question: how do we get our hands on one of these jerseys? Get on it NBA Store!