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As the son of Cavaliers legend Larry Nance, Larry Nance Jr. grew up rooting for the team on which his dad starred and whose jersey hangs in the rafters of Quicken Loans Arena.
However, he was not in “borderline tears” as Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman told reporters in a conference call Thursday night.
“I gave him a hard time for that because that’s not true,” Nance said through a big smile after his first practice as a Cavalier on Saturday in Atlanta. “I was excited, absolutely. I was super excited. We had a good conversation.
“He could tell I was excited, he was excited about bringing me here. This is home. There was a little bit of extra emotion, but not teary. I’m more of a man than that.”
Nance, sent to Cleveland with Jordan Clarkson for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and the Cavaliers’ 2018 first-round draft choice, was smiling, laughing and engaging during his post-practice meeting with reporters.
“I love the Cavs,” he said. “You should see our house.”
Nance Jr. was referring to the house of his parents. A reporter joked with him Friday that he will be the only player in the league to be living at home with Mom and Dad. The Nance family has continued to live in Northeast Ohio since Larry Sr.’s last season in the NBA, 1993-94, with the Cavaliers, with Larry, his brother and sister all going to Revere High School.
He didn’t hesitate in responding, saying he and his fiancee are doing some emergency house hunting.
Though he won’t be living with Mom and Dad, Nance Jr. made it clear how excited his family is for him to be a Cavalier.
“The first person I called was my Mom and Dad and let them know I was coming home,” Nance Jr. said. “They didn’t believe me at first, thought I was kind of messing with them. I said, ‘No. Here in about 45 seconds you’ll get the update on your phone.’ Pretty cool experience.
“There’s something about it that just feels right,” he said. “(I) can’t wait to play in my first game alongside these guys and play for the team I’ve been rooting for my whole life.”
He won’t however, be wearing his dad’s retired number, 22. Nor will be he wearing the number he’s worn since being drafted by the Lakers, No. 7. That has been retired by the team in honor of original Cavalier Bobby (Bingo) Smith.
“Obviously, people texted me, ‘What are you going to wear? What are you going to wear?'” Nance Jr. said. “I wanted seven, couldn’t have that.
“(My dad) earned that (No. 22). That’s his accomplishment. I believe he deserves to keep that and it needs to stay up there.”