In the year In 2018, long before he lit up the NBA, fresh-faced Josh Gidde was just like the 60-odd young men and women basketball players who descended on Canberra this week.
He was also invited to participate in a basketball camp without borders in India, where he was identified as a young Australian talent with the potential to go places.
Few people could have predicted it now. This That’s where Gidey lands, rewriting the record books and quickly establishing himself as one of the NBA’s most marketable rookies — on and off the court.
Even the murderer himself admits this.
The 15-year-old who attended that camp in India was very different from the Gidey we see now, playing with a certain ‘swagger’ that shows he is on the big stage.
“It was at this point that he didn’t know who I was,” Giddy, now a rising star with the Oklahoma City Thunder, told reporters at that camp earlier this year.
But that didn’t stop Giddy’s mentor Caris LeVert from leaving a lasting impression on the young Australian at the camp.
There was more to do than just ‘coach ball’.
“He was the first NBA player I talked to, he gave me a lot of advice after that camp,” Geday said of LeVert.
“He was a big guy who believed in me and my abilities. Hearing that from an NBA player gave me a lot of confidence.
LeVert was the first, but certainly not the last, NBA player to highlight Gideon’s prowess on the court, with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James praising the Australian during All-Star Weekend earlier this year.
“Look, it’s one thing to watch Guido, but it’s a whole other thing to play him and try to defend him,” Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen said. foxsports.com.au Tuesday afternoon.
“You get a good idea playing on it,” Allen said at the NBA Global Academy in Canberra, where he is currently coaching the Basketball Without Borders camp.
“He was sitting on the bench looking at him and saying, ‘Oh, how do you see that guy?’ It seems to say. His passing ability is incredible and he definitely has a place in this league.
Always seemingly in a rebuilding phase, Oklahoma City now has three key pieces to build around in Giddy, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and recent No. 2 draft pick Chet Homgren.
Daily Thunder writer Brandon Rahbar said. foxsports.com.au Last month, Holmgren said he was a “perfect partner” for Gidey and Allen can only expect the Australian to improve with his new team-mate.
“Now that he has Chet, I think his game is going to take it to another level,” Allen said.
Gidey’s expectations will be high given how much he has achieved in his rookie season, but Thunder assistant coach David Akinyoye has little doubt the Australian is ready to lift his game accordingly.
“The biggest thing about him is that he’s a worker,” said Akinyoye, who is training at a camp in Canberra. foxsports.com.au.
He’s good at asking questions, but most of all he’s doing his job, showing up early, staying late, and I think he’ll improve as he enters his second year.
“The first year he was able to adapt to the game both offensively and defensively and now it’s his second year. His confidence grows and continues to grow.
“Players are starting to see, teammates are starting to see and he’s getting into it. Again, it all starts with a desire to put the work into practice after practice and in games.
Like Giddy’s Thunder, Allen and the Cavaliers have a young core to build on in the coming years, with 21-year-old forward Evan Mobley making an immediate impact in his rookie year.
Mobley, who finished as runner-up to Scotty Barnes in last year’s Rookie of the Year race, downplayed concerns about his performance with Allen, who described his teammate as “awesome” in his first season in the NBA.
“He came in with high expectations from everyone and I personally feel he’s exceeded them,” Allen said.
“He came out, played his role, shot 3s and especially guarded the rim, so he did a good job.
“I don’t think people realize how much he puts everyone on the spot. I don’t think people realize how big his presence on the ground, the gravity of getting other people to come and defend him, is for us.
Mobley was a big reason Cleveland became an unexpected playoff contender last season, eventually falling in the playoffs to the Atlanta Hawks.
On paper, you could say the Cavaliers overachieved. But Allen doesn’t want to hear that.
“Our goal is to show people that we’re here to stay,” he said.
“Last year people thought we had three 7-footers in the lineup, people didn’t think it would work, but now the idea is to stay here and show people we’re here. Be one of the best.”