Q: You get to play with another Australian in rookie big man Thon Maker. What are your early impressions of him? Matthew Dellavedova: He really impresses me as aggressive on the offensive boards. He’s a great athlete, and he has a great shooting touch as well. He needs to get stronger and put on a little bit of weight, but with how hard he works and how hard he plays, I think he’s got all the potential as well. I think he will be a great player.
Is that what will stick with you or more the pride of representing the country and overcoming odds to make it there in the first place? A.B.: A mix of both. Look, we’ve never medaled in an Olympics, even a bronze. We were so close. The Serbia game was the one I was really disappointed in. We just got absolutely annihilated. The Spain game, FIBA had its say in that one. I’m still a firm believer in that. You look at the game tape and see their last four points are free throws, and they weren’t fouls. That was probably the most disappointing thing, but you can’t cry over spilled milk. We’ve got to move on from it, but [it was] just disappointing that we were so close to getting a medal and lost the bronze-medal game by one point.
He’s a veteran of 316 NBA games, including back-to-back championships with the LA Lakers alongside the legendary Kobe Bryant, now Josh Powell will be a Sydney King. In a major boost ahead of Saturday night’s season opener against Brisbane, the new-look Kings have secured Powell’s services on a one-year deal. The veteran power forward was set to join Sydney last week, but the process was delayed due to dramas with his passport.
Matthew Dellavedova: It was great to have Larry out to visit! A big thank you to the Cavs, the NBA and LeBron for letting me have the trophy for a couple of days 👍 great having a chat to these blokes @hamishandandy, see you in Milwaukee for a rematch @hamishblakeshotz @upandgoau
Matthew Dellavedova wants to see an NBA game played on the hallowed turf of the MCG. The new Milwaukee Buck, who won the NBA title with Cleveland last season, was at Federation Square with the Larry O’Brien Trophy this morning and said the push for a game Down Under was getting stronger. “All the boys are working on it, its just a matter of whose teams are going to get out and play,” Dellavedova said. “All the boys talk to the NBA and any chance we get we always make sure we mention it (a game in Australia) and keep it fresh in their minds.”
Barkley said he would have liked to see Philadelphia 76ers’ young players Ben Simmons and Nerlens Noel in the Olympics this year. “I would like to see some young guys,” Barkley said. “If we don’t win the gold medal, I don’t think it’s the end of the world. If you go back and look at the last three drafts of the NBA, I would love to see some of those guys that are not ready for the NBA. Even a young guy like a Ben Simmons, I thought he should have played. Even though he would have played for Australia, I have no idea why he didn’t play. I think he should have played for Australia. I think a young guy like a Nerlens Noel. He could’ve played in the Olympics. It would have been good for him because — I’m not saying this is bad — but instead of nothing all summer, what’s better playing against NBA players for a couple months during practice?”
Patrick Mills: Win em the right way and lose em the right way. We all really appreciated the support throughout our campaign. Disappointed to come home without a medal but can only hope that the boys and I have provided everyone in Australia with some inspiration – so that a little boy or girl will one day win their Olympic medal because of that time they watched the Boomers ???? We’ll be back stronger than ever