‘Protect his rights’: NBA commissioner opens up on Josh Giddey probe
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NBA commissioner Adam Silver says the league has taken a “back seat” while a criminal investigation continues into allegations that Australian basketballer Josh Giddey had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl.
The Oklahoma City Thunder guard, 21, is being investigated by Newport Beach Police Department in California and the NBA over the claims of a relationship involving a girl as young as 15 years of age which first emerged in late November on an anonymous social media post. Her age has not been publicly confirmed, the date of the alleged encounter has not been confirmed, and the social media account has been deactivated.
Probe: NBA commissioner Josh Giddey has broken his silence over an investigation into Australian NBA star Josh Giddey.Credit: AP
Silver was asked about the investigation in an interview with ESPN’s Malika Andrews on Saturday (AEDT).
“I think you look back, I can’t think of many circumstances where we’ve [the NBA] suspended a player based on an allegation alone,” Silver said.
“And in this case, we have an allegation, and then you have a police investigation and a parallel league investigation. I would also add that where there’s a criminal investigation, we [the NBA] take a back seat.
“And so you have an allegation, you have an ongoing criminal investigation, that impacts how the Players’ Association can work with us because, of course, the player needs to protect his rights, so I’m not going to say ‘never, ever’.
“But I think this is the path we have consistently followed in the past. There’s an ongoing criminal investigation, Newport Police opened up that investigation, notified us, we then take a back seat. And that’s where things currently stand.”
Giddey has been jeered by opposition fans while continuing to take to the court for Oklahoma City Thunder since the claims emerged, with some questioning why he has been allowed to keep playing. The Thunder play at home on Saturday (AEDT), hosting Golden State.
Australian Boomers coach Brian Goorjian has flown to the US to meet with Australia’s NBA-based players, and is scheduled to meet Giddey next Friday (AEDT), when Giddey’s Thunder play in California, against Sacramento, for the first time since the video became public. Goorjian maintains he wants the playmaker on the Boomers’ team for Paris 2024.
“A hundred per cent I do, but like everyone else, I can’t control the legal side,” Goorjian said.
“This team represents the country, and it’s an important time for everyone. I have to cover all positions, all players, in case someone is injured or can’t play. In every spot, there is a back-up plan.”
The allegations against Giddey emerged when pictures and videos of the star guard and a young woman were posted to social media.
When asked about the allegations last weekend, Giddey told US media: “I understand the question, obviously, but there is no further comment right now.”
He later added: “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 the images is of a shirtless Giddey standing behind the girl.
The age of consent in California is 18, but someone accused of statutory rape can escape conviction if they can prove they reasonably believed the alleged victim was an adult.
Giddey has lived in the US since he was 19.
High-profile US lawyer Gloria Allred is acting for the girl and her family. Allred was contacted for comment.
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