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LeBron, Cavs fans show Delly the love

Matthew Dellavedova is headed to Milwaukee. (Image: AP)
Roar Rookie
22nd June, 2016
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LeBron James and the city of Cleveland have heaped praise on Australian point guard Matthew Dellavedova.

The streets of Cleveland echoed with chants of “Delly, Delly, Delly” on Wednesday as 1.3 million Cavaliers fans clogged the city for a parade to celebrate the franchise’s first NBA title.

In recent days the Australian point guard has fuelled his cult status as fans watched him via social media playing beer pong in a Collingwood AFL guernsey, ride a rollercoaster and don a floral “Little Kev” Hawaiian shirt grandfathers across Australia would feel comfortable wearing to a backyard barbecue.

When Cavaliers’ leader LeBron James took to a stage at the end of the parade route he spoke passionately about his teammates.

“Yeah, and he deserves that,” James, when the crowd began the Delly chant, said.

“If there was a bear right here and there was Delly right here and I shot the ball and I was wondering who would get to the ball first, Delly would tear that damn bear up.

“You all saw for the last two years Delly gave us everything.

“He damn near gave his life last year in the finals when he went to the hospital.

“That’s a guy who is dedicated, who never cared about guys saying that Delly is not fast enough, Delly is not strong enough, Delly can’t shoot it well enough, Delly is not an NBA player.

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“Well guess what? Delly is a champion.

“Thank you Delly.”

When it was time for Dellavedova to take the microphone he praised his family, girlfriend and the Cavaliers’ fans.

“I really want to thank everyone in Cleveland for welcoming me,” Dellavedova, who was introduced to the crowd with AC/DC’s hit T.N.T., said.

“You are the best fans in the world.”

Dellavedova’s contract with the Cavaliers has ended so he may have played his last game for the team.

The Cavaliers paid him $US1.147 million in 2015-16 and will likely not be willing to match the $US40 million, four-year deals the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons are reportedly ready to offer.

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If he joins the Pistons he will play alongside Australians Aron Baynes and Cameron Bairstow.

The Cavaliers came back from a 1-3 series deficit to win the decisive game seven of the NBA Finals on the Golden State Warriors’ home court on Sunday

Australia’s other NBA Finals representative, the Golden State Warriors’ Andrew Bogut, could also find himself on another team.

There is speculation the Warriors could offload Bogut to create salary room for one of the NBA’s two elite available players, Kevin Durant or Dirk Nowitizki.

As the parade stopped and started because of the overflowing crowd, some of Dellavedova’s teammates joked about his popularity.

“The problem is I got stuck in front of Delly and all I heard was ‘Delly, Delly, Delly’,” Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love said.

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