Dellavedova excited about Boomers future, going one better with Cleveland
Matthew Dellavedova is back in his home state of Victoria and gearing up to pull on the green and gold against New Zealand on Saturday night in Melbourne.
The FIBA Oceania Championships will be a treat for Victorian basketball-lovers, and Delly caught up with Benyam Kidane from Believe The Hype at the launch of Red Bull’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament ‘Red Bull Reign’ to talk all things Boomers and Cleveland.
You’d think a man with restricted free agency hanging over his head would find it hard to relax, but Delly didn’t let it affect his off-season break. He had some weeks off, and was able to take some time away from the game. “I just completely relaxed and enjoyed doing a few different things.” The holidays didn’t last for long though as Delly joined his Boomers teammates in late July in Europe to get straight back into the grind.
Just like every Australian basketball fan, Dellavedova was shattered for his mate Dante Exum after he sustained an ACL tear playing against Slovenia. “[I’ve] been texting him, and was on the same flight out as him. Just a really tough injury, you never want to see that happen to anybody, and especially Dante. He’s put in a lot of work into his game and into his body.”
It’s just really disappointing for him, and also disappointing for the Boomers because he’s a big part of what we do.”
Delly singled out seeing his Boomer teammates improvement when they meet up each year as a highlight of the training camps. “That’s the exciting thing about coming back each year. Just seeing how much everybody has improved. Everybody is just trying to elevating their game.”
It’s only positive things for the Boomers in the future.”
The two may have been on opposing sides in the NBA Finals, but Dellavedova is clearly loving having Andrew Bogut back with the Boomers after some time away from the national team. “It’s been great having Boges around. On the court obviously we’ve got to see a lot more of his offensive game that you don’t typically see with Golden State.”
Away from the hardwood, Delly and Bogey have been hitting it off too, “Off the court, just hanging out and getting to know him more has been a lot of fun and I think he’s really enjoying hanging out with the boys as well.”
There were many questions surrounding Dellavedova’s restricted free agency after his headline-making Finals performance, but one stood out in particular.
Just how much did Cleveland value him?
The Cavaliers clearly wanted him back after extending a qualifying offer to him, and after accepting a 1 year, $1.2 million deal, Delly knows he will be competing for a ring with Lebron and Co. for at least one more season.
The amount may be less than what Delly was hoping for, but it is clear all he was really focused on was remaining with Cleveland.
I really wanted to go back to Cleveland.”
“It’s always nice to know where you’re going to be playing next year,” Delly said, and continued by stating the expectation of next season is a Championship, “Obviously we’ve got a really good team there, hopefully we can go one better.”
Delly is looking forward to having the veteran experience of Mo Williams, who will most likely take some playing time away from him, on the team. “He’s going to bring a lot of experience to the team, and then we also added Richard Jefferson, another veteran player, hopefully we can learn a lot off both of those players.” Delly said.
When asked if next season once again being a contract year motivates him to perform, Delly had a perfect response. “I don’t think so, I don’t think you really want to be focussing or playing like that, or just trying to have a big year because I think you should be trying to do that every year and you always want to be getting better each day.”
Be sure to catch Delly and his Aussie teammates battle it out against New Zealand on Saturday night, in what will be a hard fought game with plenty at stake.