As a proud South East Melbourne Phoenix co-owner, Dante Exum wasn’t initially convinced about Boomers teammate Matthew Dellavedova joining arch rivals Melbourne United.
“I hate it, I hate it,” Exum joked when asked about Dellavedova’s three-year deal with United.
Stirring aside, Exum couldn’t be happier to see Dellavedova continue his stellar career in the NBL with United.
Sure, he’d prefer him to be lining up for the Phoenix, but he understands the significance of an NBA champion-winner joining the Australian league.
“No, I’m happy for Delly for him to go home and play,” he said.
“It is going to be great for the league.
“I think it is just going to keep boosting the rivalry between us (the Phoenix) and United and hopefully we can get them this year.”
For Dellavedova, signing with United is all about relationships and respect.
The 30-year-old from regional Victoria has long harboured a desire to play in the NBL at the right time.
Matthew Dellavedova after winning the 2016 NBA championship with Cleveland. Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images.Source:Supplied
Dellavedova believes the Australian league has come a long way in recent seasons, and he wanted to be a part of it.
“Firstly, the NBL is a quality league that is tough,” he said.
“I think a lot of people in the past may have underestimated it, but I don’t think people are doing that anymore.
“I think it has got a lot of respect overseas. In the NBA people know about it and ask about the players in the league in the last few years.”
Dellavedova has also done his research.
He has regularly spoken to his agent Bruce Kader, who also manages United coach Dean Vickerman.
“And he (Bruce) has always had good things to say about him (Dean),” said Dellavedova, who will explore NBA opportunities during the free agency period before joining United.
“I’ve been texting with him (Dean) a bit and I look forward to getting to know him as well.
“As for United, it is a team with great culture. I’ve enjoyed playing with Goulding and Barlow in the past and now Newley is there.
“I’m really excited to commit to United, so when I do come back and play it is going with them.”
Until then, Dellavedova is focused on Australia’s Tokyo Olympic campaign, which starts with a warm-up game against Argentina on Sunday from 1.30pm (AEST).
The Boomers will look to perform strongly when they take on Argentina in the team’s opening Olympic warm-up game on Sunday. Picture: Mark StewartSource:News Corp Australia
The Argentines possess plenty of strike led by NBA players, Denver Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Gabriel Deck and New York guard Luca Vildoza.
Argentina is aiming for its first Olympic podium finish since 2008, when the nation secured a bronze medal four years after securing the gold at the 2004 Athens Games.
Dellavedova is expecting a difficult clash against the World No.4 ranked team.
“They (Argentina) have been a great basketball country for a really long time now,” he said.
“They always play hard and physical, very skilful and we know quite a few of their players having played against them in the past.”
Source: Read Full Article