If nothing else, we’ll always have this.
This is both not a surprise and very surprising.
Delfino’s departure has all but been assured since last season ended. While John Hammond praised Ersan Ilyasova and frequently discussed the organization’s willingness to do whatever it would take, within reason, to bring back the young power forward, hardly a word was mentioned about Delfino. Reports later had Delfino at odds with Hammond’s lack of communication and apparently disinterest in the forward’s return to Milwaukee. So it was no surprise that Delfino eventually signed elsewhere.
But Houston? I’d heard the rumors for a week or two, so I expected it when he moved on, but when the rumors first surfaced I was shocked. It’s difficult to see what Daryl Morey, famed consultant of all things statistical, sees in the mediocre wing. While Delfino had generally been a good defender and above average 3-point shooter before last season, he’s never been much for efficiency. Delfino is one of a handful of active players to have played 400 or more games and manage a career field goal percentage of 40% or less. You know the type: Keith Bogans, Rasual Butler, Quentin Richardson. That’s where Delfino fits in.
I never pegged Houston for the type of team to bring on that type of player. He’s a lot like Bogans, but not as good of a defender historically.
Regardless, Delfino had a fair run as a Buck. He started 66 games for the 2009-10 Fear the Deer team. He battled back from a very serious concussion that cost him a large part of the 2010-11 season and almost forced him to wear a helmet on the court. In a way, he was a big symbol of both seasons. He overachieved and impressed three years ago and fought injury two years ago, much like so many of his teammates in both seasons.
My favorite Delfino memory is his top play above. We heard a lot about Delfino’s “sneaky athleticism” after that block and every time Scott Skiles or John Hammond or anyone else mentioned it, my mind immediately returned to the moment it snuck up on DeMar DeRozan.
What’s your favorite Delfino memory?