Josh Giddey baffled by Rookie of the Year award snob
Australian basketball player Josh Giddey has admitted he was disappointed not to receive a single vote for the NBA Rookie of the Year award, despite turning heads this year with the Oklahoma Thunder City.
Giddey finished his rookie season averaging 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 54 appearances – he was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month four times, quickly becoming one of Oklahoma City’s most trusted point guards.
The 19-year-old’s first season ended prematurely after suffering a hip injury in February, weeks after becoming the youngest player in NBA history to score a triple-double. He also earned a spot in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland.
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But despite a record-breaking season for the Aussie, that wasn’t enough to convince the global voting panel of 100 journalists and sports broadcasters.
Toronto’s Scottie Barnes (378 votes) edged out Cleveland’s Evan Mobley (363 votes) for the award, while Detroit’s Cade Cunningham (154 votes) placed third.
“It was disappointing,” said Giddey age.
“I missed a lot of games, which I understand is like that. But I don’t want to dwell on it too much.
“Looking back five or 10 years from now, it’s not going to bother me, so it sucks, it’s disappointing, but we’re moving on.”
Australian basketball icon Andrew Gaze believes Giddey could have won the award had it not been for his untimely injury.
“If Josh had continued on the path he was on, I think he definitely would have been in the top three finalists and in the conversation to win the Rookie Award,” Gaze said last week.
“At the end he got injured and that’s what hurt him.
“We’re biased because we’d like to see Josh in there, but he missed so many games at the end of the season and you look at the three finalists and say, ‘Who’s going to miss?
“I think Josh is next behind these guys. He was exceptional, but so were these guys.
“Josh is a big part of the future of the Thunder.
“They gave him a lot of time on the pitch. I don’t think he would have had the same opportunities on a playoff team.
After Giddey’s departure, Oklahoma City won six of its last 23 games to finish with a season record of 24-58, placing them 14th in the Western Conference.
“It was hard to just sit there and watch,” Giddey said. age.
“At the end of the day, we ran out of games (to come back) but I’m healthy now and I’ll have a full off-season under my belt and I’ll be right back next season.
“The NBA season is a long, long season. You can’t understand it until you experience it when you play consecutive games, you enter different cities at 2 am or 3 am. It’s a busy schedule. »
Giddey hopes to represent Australia’s Boomers at the FIBA World Cup next year and the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The teenager reportedly earned A$8.2 million in his first season in the NBA.