Aussie hoopster Josh Giddey takes to the court amid probe of ‘underage relationship’
Australia's Josh Giddey stars for the both Boomers and the NBA's Thunder franchise. Photo: AAP
Oklahoma City’s coach says the NBA probe into a claim Josh Giddey had an improper relationship does not prevent the Australian star from playing.
In a since-deleted post earlier this week, an anonymous social media user claimed a girl seen with 21-year-old Giddey in videos and photographs was a high school junior at the time.
Giddey suited up for the Thunder in Sunday’s 127-123 loss (AEDT) to fellow heavyweights the Philadelphia 76ers, his first game since the NBA began looking into the matter.
There is no suggestion police are involved.
“There’s no change in status from a basketball standpoint,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said in his pre-game media conference.
“We still have no comment on anything else.
“Just with the information we have at this point, that’s the decision that we’ve made. It’s really not even a decision, to be honest with you.
‘The ball’s in their court’
“It’s obviously a league matter at this point so the ball’s in their court on that.”
Giddey performed strongly in his team’s close defeat to the 76ers, recording a team-high eight assists and seven rebounds to go with his 10 points.
He received mostly cheers from the home crowd at Paycom Center during pre-game introductions and after each of his baskets.
The guard’s in-bound pass to Chet Holmgren in the final 15 seconds helped put the Thunder back within three points after they had trailed by as many as 13 earlier in the final quarter.
With three seconds to play, Giddey again threw the last pass to Holmgren as the Thunder cut the deficit back to two before a pair of Joel Embiid free-throws iced the game for the Sixers.
The social media account that made the claim about Giddey has been deactivated but the Boomers star has continued to trend on social media in the days since.
Lips remained sealed
When facing the media at practice on Friday (Saturday AEDT), Giddey declined to comment on the social media allegation, which has the potential to impact a promising NBA career, now into its third season.
The NBL’s rookie of the year in 2021, Giddey has been a lock for selection in the Thunder’s starting five since being taken with the sixth pick of that year’s NBA draft.
He has become particularly well-known for his incisive passing game, and in his rookie season, became the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double at 19 years and 84 days.
That season, he was the first rookie since Hall of Fame member Oscar Robertson in 1961 to record three consecutive triple-doubles.