Juanma Rubio


Pelicans' 'Grand theft'

In January, Joel Embiid offered to pay a $2,000 fine handed out to Jose Alvarado for a technical foul.

The MVP challenger got into a confrontation with the rookie, and said the fine was wrong.

More headlines for the young point guard known for tenacity in defense and his steals, for which he’s become known as “Grand Theft Alvarado”.

On 28 March, ahead of the playoffs, the Pelicans gave him a full-time four-year, $6.5M contract.

His teammates turned out for the contact signing to celebrate the success of one the dressing room’s favourites.

The Pelicans fans are chanting his name in the stands and on the streets, buying his jersey and calling for him to be mayor of New Orleans.

At 24 and undrafted, Alvarado is doing what many doubted he'd be able to: “The doubters have got nothing to say now”.

What’s more, he’s confirmed he’ll play for Puerto Rico, having been tempted by legends like Arroyo and JJ Barea.

He was born in Brooklyn and played soccer till suffering a neck injury, then basketball at high school in Queens and at Georgia Tech.

In his last year at college he was named best defender in his conference, the ACC. “Defense is 90% heart,” he says.

In the NBA he’s continued with his trademark move, appearing from behind his rival point guard to steal the ball. Just like at college.

He’s now part of a surprise group of rookies who took the Pelicans to the playoffs: Trey Murphy (pick 35), Herb Jones (17) and him.



stats from the regular season