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Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving.

Cleveland Cavaliers to turn green and gold for Australia Day

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Since the re-signing of LeBron James before the start of the 2014-15 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers have returned to the top table in the NBA.

After losing a close series to the Golden State Warriors in last year's NBA Finals, they currently sit top of the Eastern Conference.

As well as trying to win games and bring an elusive NBA title to Cleveland, they are also looking to increase their reach in global markets.

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One of the ways they are doing this is by hosting an Australia Day game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 25.

When you take the time zones of the two nations into account it will be played on Australia Day, the morning of the January 26.

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You may be wondering what is the link between Cleveland and Australia?

The answer is that they have two Australian born players on their roster, their point guards;  Matthew Dellavedova and Kyrie Irving.

Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers

While Irving left the country at just two-years-old, Dellavedova was born and bread in Maryborough. Victoria before heading to the U.S. to play college ball for St Mary's College in California.

The promotion has been agreed upon between the Cavaliers and Australian breakfast drink 'UP and GO'.

In lieu of the event, the Cavaliers will wear gold uniforms (the colour of the Australian national team) and sing the national anthem before the game.

Impact

Dellavedova said it was a great initiative between the two parties and a sign that Australians are making a positive mark on the league:

"To celebrate Australia Day really means a lot to me and my family, and hopefully a number of people back home in Australia.

"We are up to eight players in the NBA and are going pretty well. Hopefully there are more along the way," he said.

The point guard came to prominence in the playoffs last season with his feisty defence which drew a great deal of praise from teammates.

Another Australian bound to make his mark on the league next season is LSU forward Ben Simmons, who is wowing everyone from Lakers legend Magic Johnson to U.S. President, Barack Obama. Simmons has been widely tipped to be the number one pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

LSU v Florida

Irving who has dual citizenship, says one of the best experiences of his life was going back to his place of birth with his dad Drederick, who played in the Australian league in the 1980s.

With the Magic and Raptors putting on a game in London, and the game growing ever stronger in Europe and Asia, it might not be too far-fetched to say that basketball is following football's footsteps in becoming truly global.

Topics:
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
LeBron James
Kyrie Irving
NBA Draft

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