At 6’8″, Giddey’s shrewd play and x-ray vision of the court saw him and All-Star teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander form a formidable backcourt combination which, with the help of the trunk Thunder’s wartime first-round pick, could help the team make a deep playoff run in years to come. Giddey knows you can’t rush the process (you have to trust him, don’t you). right?) But it’s clear he’s relishing the prospect of a playoff basketball game. “I want to win as many championships as possible, all with the Thunder,” he says. “I know we’re young, but I think we can take it one step at a time, first make the playoffs and then win a few rounds. You can’t go from a rebuilding team to winning a championship in a year. These things take time But we have a really hungry young group And I think if we get a little bit better every year, that ultimate goal of being a championship contender can be realistic for our group.
If that happens, Giddey has no doubt he’ll be ready for the spotlight and the extra intensity the playoffs will bring. “These great moments when the stadium is full, these are not moments that I hesitate,” he said. “These are the times when I like to play. When the pressure is on, the game is on and you have to win to move on. I look forward to these moments in our arena filled with fans. I’m excited for this. Killers always are.
Right now, however, Giddey has work to do. His priorities for this offseason include adding a reliable jumper to his offensive arsenal and strengthening. The NBA isn’t necessarily more physical than the NBL, he says, but the busy 82-game season, with its long road trips, wears you down. “In the NBL, we played two games a week,” he says. “Here in the NBA, it’s every day of the week, where you play in different cities on consecutive nights. There are a lot of late flights, arriving in a city at 2 a.m., having to backtrack and play that night. The commute, the amount of games, the time on the road is a lot. A lot of sacrifice goes into it. You’re away from your friends and family. But it’s my dream job. .
That’s since he grew up in Yarraville, in Melbourne’s east. Giddey played for the Melbourne Tigers juniors and was coached by his father, Warrick, former NBL mainstay and Australian basketball icon, Andrew Gaze, whose son also played for the team. He credits them for establishing his pass-first approach to the game. “My dad always pushed me to be a team player and get the guys involved,” he says. “It’s something that stuck with me to this day.”