What it’s like to manage NBA champion Matthew Dellavedova

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There is a diverse mix of skills required to manage a NBA superstar such as Matthew Dellavedova. Bruce Kaider, founder of One Management Group and Consulting and Deakin graduate knows first-hand what it’s like. He manages Dellavedova and a number of other high profile athletes. Here he shares the realities of his role and talks about how his client, ‘Delly’ manages the pressure of NBA life and why NBA fandom is growing in Australia.

Delly is over the moon after winning the NBA championship

He understands what it’s like to give it your all and the team definitely did that. The city of Cleveland has been abuzz since Cleveland’s championship win – the first win of any sporting team in Cleveland for more 50 years – so it has been very well received. We’ve spoken quite a bit and you can hear the enthusiasm and relief in his voice. It’s a pretty special time to be with your friends and family celebrating with so many devoted fans. I don’t think he’ll be forgetting this feeling anytime soon!

What it’s like to manage a NBA player

For me, managing an NBA player is no different to managing an AFL footballer, NBL basketballer, Olympian or media personality.  You need to build a mutual trust and respect for each other, which stems from open and honest two-way communication. To do this, you must demonstrate to your clients that you are competent in being able to advise them in contract negotiations and plans outside their chosen profession.

Australians love seeing local talent thrive in the NBA

Over the past few years, with four Australians now NBA champions (Mills, Baynes, Bogut and Dellavedova), and most recently, number one draft pick Ben Simmons, there’s been a rise in Australia’s interest in NBA. Australia has always produced fantastic talent, it is only recently that they have been in the public eye, but the talent has always been there. Children start off young playing basketball, you only have to go to a local stadium and see the hundreds of kids running around the courts or walking around with a ball in their hand – it’s no different to when I was a kid growing up.  The passion for the game is instilled as a child; the love of the game is what drives so many of us.

Matthew Dellavedova is a grounded person

He comes from a hard-working family who encouraged him to do what he was passionate about and loved.  I often hear him referring to himself as ‘just a kid from Maryborough’, which is representative of the type of person he is – Delly is a very humble person. His tenacity on the court is second to none, he has worked hard to get into the NBA system and now he can say he is an NBA champion, which is an amazing achievement when you understand the journey he has been on over the past few years.

You don’t see all of your clients win every time

Half of our clients are based internationally, playing in the USA, Europe and New Zealand. They understand I can’t be everywhere at one time, but that’s no different to having clients predominately based in Australia; I still wouldn’t be able to logistically be there for everyone. Being an international business I’m available after hours to my clients, they know they can call me anytime.  We’ve had clients win Euro Cups and Grand Finals. Although we haven’t always been there physically to celebrate with them, we are in constant dialogue and love sharing their successes with them and always look to catch up with them not long after the event. I try to get to as many games and events as possible to support our clients. Technology these days makes it very easy to feel like you are right there even if I’m not physically by their side.

Being a sports agent is an incredible experience

I love working with highly-driven individuals who are passionate about what they do.  I love working with a team of people at OMGC who share the same values, drive and passion I do to help people.  My biggest motivation as an agent is to make a difference to our clients’ lives and help them realise their potential – not only as athletes but as people.

Bruce Kaider completed a Master of Commerce at Deakin University

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