NBA finally makes call on Josh Giddey investigation

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The NBA has reportedly closed its investigation into Josh Giddey, four months after police ended their own probe into allegations of an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl.

In January, the Newport Beach Police Department in California announced the Aussie NBA star would not face charges after it was “unable to corroborate any criminal activity.”

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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the NBA has now come to a similar conclusion, closing its own investigation days after Giddey’s season on court ended.

NBA CEO Adam Silver said back in December the league’s investigation would “take a back seat” to the Newport Police’s investigation.

This latest development draws a line under the saga, which saw Giddey booed at games throughout the 82-game season and him lose his sponsorship deal with Weet-Bix.

His team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, were knocked out of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round — ending a season that was a resounding success.

The Thunder won 57 games to finish as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the youngest team to do so.

Speaking this week at his end of season exit interview, Giddey became emotional as he discussed the mental toll this season had taken on him.

“This was probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever gone through for a number of reasons obviously,” Giddey said.

“I think (coping) mentally is the part that gets overlooked the most for any player. It’s so easy for people to see what’s happening on the floor but not see what happens behind the scenes and there’s so much more to a person than basketball.

“That’s for anyone not just me. You have a couple bad games, you start to get in your own head, maybe you lose confidence — whatever the case may be.

“But for me, I’ve just tried to stay within the team as much as I can this year and that’s been the thing for me that I found that’s worked the best. When you come in every day, you get amongst the team and you stay within the group and that’s what cheers guys up and that’s what gets you back on the right path.

“I’m really lucky to have good people around me. They really care and really are there for you and there’s definitely been days and stretches this year that have been tough.

“It’s not a secret. But I just tried to come in every day and be the best I could and be the best teammate I could.”

He added there were “days where you don’t feel like getting out of bed”.

Most basketball pundits predict OKC will look to trade Giddey in the near future in exchange for a complimentary centre after the Thunder struggled rebounding in the series against Dallas.

Giddey is eligible for a lucrative contract extension this off-season and the Aussie said his overwhelming preference was to remain in Oklahoma City.

“This is home away from home,” he said.

“I love everything about this place — the city, the fans, the organisation top to bottom, it’s just unbelievable people throughout the building. Getting to come here to work every day is so much fun.”

Giddey saw his minutes reduced throughout the season as he emerged as the odd man out in OKC’s rotation as a ball handling guard without a reliable three-point shot.

He was benched midway through the series against Dallas after starting every game of his career up to that point.

Giddey said he didn’t deal with being left out of the starting line-up as well as he could have.

“I was probably in my own head and I wasn’t being a good teammate. I just felt bad,” he said.

“Even after Game 1 (against Dallas), I was trying to be happy, but I was also so worried internally. I couldn’t fully get around the guys the way I wanted to and it was a bad feeling.

“From that point on, I made a promise to myself that whether I play five minutes or 40 minutes, I’m going to be the best teammate I can be. I’m going to be up off the bench cheering for the guys and being supportive.

“That was kind of the mindset I took into the next three games. I love my teammates. So I just wanted to be there for them as much as I could.

“I’ve always been in a position where I’m playing a lot of minutes and starting my whole life.

“And then when suddenly things don’t happen the way you want them to and the way you think they’re going to pan out, how do you react?

“The first couple of games I probably was just so self-centred and worried about me that it impacted the way I was supporting my teammates and being a good teammate. I wanted to change that.

“Coach did what he thought was best for the team and to be honest, I probably agree with him.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow but for a 21-year-old to go through this now it’s probably a good thing and I just don’t want to feel this feeling again. It’ll make me a lot better and stronger as a player to never let something like this happen again.”

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