Basketball 1 year ago

Dellavedova basking in Cleveland NBA love

  • Dellavedova basking in Cleveland NBA love

    Australian NBA champion Matthew Dellavedova can't shake the memories of Cleveland's partying.

Returning NBA champ Matthew Dellavedova says he still can't comprehend the scale of Cleveland's celebrations in the wake of the Cavaliers' breakthrough win.

Dellavedova landed back in Melbourne on Wednesday after a week of revelry and recovery after Cleveland's triumph.

It was not only the Cavaliers' first NBA title in their 46-year history but the city's first major sporting triumph in 52 years.

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The enthusiastic Australian relished the success but said he expected it would be the aftermath of the triumph that would stay with him forever.

"Strangers coming up to you, older people that are 45, 50 (years old) that haven't seen a championship in their whole life," he said.

"They've got tears in their eyes as they shake your hand ... it gives me goosebumps thinking about it now.

"It's really hard to describe what it meant to the city of Cleveland - the outpouring of love and emotion.

"For the city and the team, it's something that I don't know anyone had seen before."

The nature of the NBA beast means he might not bask in northeast Ohio's glow for much longer.

The 25-year-old is a free agent and subject to the ruthless off-season trading period that could send him anywhere across the league.

The Cavaliers, featuring superstars LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and JR Smith, face significant salary-cap pressures.

Dellavedova said he wanted to stay with the Cavs but was wise to the realities of the system.

"In the NBA, you never know what's going to happen. I've had a great three years there and I hope we can figure something out," he said.

"With the amount of money they pay a lot of other guys, we'll have to see what happens."

For now, though, it's all about Rio.

The tenacious point guard will compete at his second Olympics in August and heads into a training camp next week ahead of the Rio tournament.

"I really feel like the time is right to do something special. There's that feeling in the group," he said.

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