Storm party NBA way with champagne goggles

Melbourne are celebrating another NRL grand final win after beating Penrith in the season finale.
Melbourne are celebrating another NRL grand final win after beating Penrith in the season finale.

It was lucky Melbourne won the NRL title on Sunday night, otherwise they would be flying home with nothing but a box of dry ski goggles.

Inspired by NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers, the Storm squad bought everyone a pair of goggles to protect their eyes from the champagne showers inside the winning change room.

A chartered flight and cigars completed the NBA-style party late into Monday for the NRL premiers, with the Lakers' Dion Waiters even taking notice.

Utility Brandon Smith - or 'Hectic Cheese' as he is otherwise known, filmed an hilarious impersonation of Waiters - known as 'Philly Cheese' - and uploaded it to social media.

"They try to sabotage cheese?" Smith says, reciting a video of Waiters from earlier this year.

"I ain't no Philly cheese, I ain't no bubble cheese. Call me double-C. I'm the champ cheese."

From there the NBA champion and his Lakers teammate Quinn Cook took notice on Instagram, with Waiters calling it 'the greatest s*** ever'.

Looking every bit of an NBA championship winning side, the Storm took their private flight - Storm Force 1 - from Bankstown airport at 2.30am on Monday morning.

They arrived back at Twin Waters resort on the Sunshine Coast at 5am where the party continued with cigars and oversized NBA style premiers t-shirts.

"It's crazy we love it," Clive Churchill Medal winner Ryan Papenhuyzen said of the celebrations.

"Everyone around here gets around it.

"We started a collectables business that deals NBA cards.

"Once we started learning a bit more and seeing the traditions they do... Sandor [Earl] made up these mint tees for us.

"It's a really cool feeling, we really like how they celebrate so we thought we'd do that."

Beer and bubbly drenched the players during the COVID-safe celebrations, but the goggles weren't just about safety - the headwear made for spectacular pictures.

The plain goggles were adorned with stickers for each athlete to represent their personal apparel sponsors - if they have one.

"Last couple of years a lot of (NBA) teams have worn goggles," Cameron Munster said.

"Some of our boys decided it would be a good idea if we did win it to get some goggles, and luckily enough we won because if we didn't it would be a little bit embarrassing."

Australian Associated Press