Josh Giddey has not been stood down by the NBA or the Oklahoma City Thunder despite facing an an investigation into allegations he had an improper relationship with an underaged girl.
In a since-deleted post, an anonymous social media user said a girl who is seen with Giddey in videos and photographs was a high school junior at the time. The social media account has since been deactivated.
Giddey played for the Thunder on Saturday night (Sunday morning AEDT) against Philadelphia in OKC and did not receive any noticeable adverse reactions from the fans as he registered 25 minutes of court time. He received mostly cheers from the home crowd at Paycom Center during pre-game introductions and after each of his baskets.
He shot four of 12 from the field in scoring 10 points while he also made eight assists and seven rebounds during his team’s 127-123 loss to the 76ers, which ended the home team’s six-game winning streak.
MVP Joel Embiid dominated for the visitors with 35 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists while rookie Chet Holmgren (33) and star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (31) were the Thunder’s main scorers.
The NBA confirmed on Saturday (AEDT) that officials were investigating the claims against Giddey, with spokesman Michael Bass saying: “We’re looking into it.”
As a result, the 21-year-old Australian guard’s career now hangs in the balance.
Oklahoma City’s coach says the NBA probe into a claim Giddey had an improper relationship does not yet prevent the Australian star from playing.
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.
“It’s obviously a league matter at this point so the ball’s in their court on that.”
Giddey had no comment when questioned at practice on Friday before the game. “Yeah, I mean, I understand the question, obviously,” he said. “But there’s no further comment right now.”
When asked again, he said: “I get the question guys. I completely understand you guys want to know about it. But just for right now, I don’t have anything to say.”
One of Australia’s most high-profile and best paid athletes, Giddey is viewed as the shooting star key to the Boomers’ Paris Olympics medal chances.
Giddey, the son of Melbourne Tigers great Warwick, was named NBL rookie of the year with the Adelaide 36ers in 2021 and made a phenomenal start to his NBA career with the Thunder.
He was the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double – at 19 years and 84 days – and the first player since Hall of Fame member Oscar Robertson in 1961 to record three consecutive triple-doubles as a rookie.