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Aussies in NBA: Matthew Dellavedova headlines Australia Day in Milwaukee
Hope you all enjoyed Australia Day back home. Milwaukee was the unlikely home for a key Australia Day celebration this year as the Milwaukee Bucks hosted the Philadelphia 76ers.
Matthew Dellavedova was the headline act in Milwaukee and the kid from Maryborough spoke to The Pick and Roll to explain what it means to play on Australia Day.
“It means a lot," he said. "Even though I’m on the other side of the world, I’m still representing Australian no matter where I am playing.”
Dellavedova was proud to be playing a flagship game on Australia’s biggest day and was thankful to the Milwaukee Bucks franchise for organising the entire event.
“It was cool that the Bucks supported me and Thon to do the Australia Day thing here," said Dellavedova. "Hopefully it’s something we can continue to grow because you always want to be a good ambassador for the country.”
It was Dellavedova bubblehead night and 5,000 locals (well 4,999 as one was mistakenly placed in my backpack for import into Australia) were lucky enough walk away with pint sized versions of the great man.
While Dellavedova and his Bucks teammates suffered through one of their worst defeats this season, the entire franchise did a great job of celebrating Australia Day and making their two Aussies feel at home. Plus, Delly had the sexiest sneakers in basketball on display for everyone to admire.
For the game itself, this was a horrible loss for the Bucks. Playing against a 76ers team missing Joel Embiid should not be a difficult exercise, especially for a team that considers itself playoff worthy. Greg Monroe described the result aptly post game: “That’s a game we should have won.”
The Bucks are a young team and currently have the look of a squad that needs the rest that an All-Star break will provide. But that’s enough talk about the game itself, let’s get to the fun stuff.
Americans doing Australia
Seeing Americans trying to enjoy the very best Australia has to offer is always going to provide guaranteed hilarity. Wednesday night was no exception.
First, we have the Bucks players trying to pronounce some of our greatest words, with ‘trying’ being the operative word.
If NBA players trying to get their Australiana on isn’t enough for you, the locals in Wisconsin also gave it a crack. Three lucky fans were chosen to compete in a Vegemite eating contest. Just enjoy this video.
I was fortunate to speak to the competitor in the white shirt (far right) and he was less than pleased with the taste. In fact, his reaction could not have been any more blunt (language warning).
The look on this poor man’s face was priceless and there was no way he knew the situation he had gotten himself into.
Australia Day in Milwaukee was not warm and there were no pool parties to be had. All the same, much credit should be given to the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA for embarrassing our national holiday, and allowing the green and gold to take centre stage. With Dellavedova firmly entrenched as an Australian basketball icon, and Ben Simmons and Thon Maker being super talents, this matchup between the Bucks and the 76ers could become an annual event that does the entire country proud.