Aussie teen freak robbed by dodgy call
Aussie NBA rookie Josh Giddey has been denied a chance to enter the history books in the cruellest of circumstances.
A dodgy refereeing call has robbed Aussie NBA rookie Josh Giddey of his chance to enter the history books.
By three-quarter time of a clash with the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday afternoon (AEDT), the 19-year-old Oklahoma City Thunder guard had chalked up eight points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and looked on track to become the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double.
As the Western Conference cellar-dwelling Thunder basked in an unlikely lead over the fifth-placed Clippers at the final change, Giddey knew he needed only one basket or two free-throws to break the record, currently held by LaMelo Ball.
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In his debut season, Giddey has become known for his incisive passing game rather than for his shooting, so Thunder fans wouldn’t have been surprised that he went more than half of the final quarter without sinking a basket, as Luguentz Dort and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored most prolifically for the home side.
But as Giddey began to attack the basket more aggressively as the contest wore on, a questionable refereeing call robbed him of his chance to make history.
Jeering rang out across Oklahoma City when match officials denied Giddey two free throws for a blatant foul in the paint.
As Giddey attempted to jump for a lay-up, Reggie Jackson held onto him in a bear-hug, constituting as foul.
Incredibly, rather than Giddey having a chance to shoot for two free throws and a place in the history books, the referee called a jump-ball.
Commentators could hardly believe the call.
“I don’t understand how the official is standing there watching Reggie Jackson basically body-hug him right there out in the play,” said broadcast analyst Michael Cage.
“The official was right there, my goodness, and he calls a jump ball? I mean, what does it take to get a foul at this point in the ball game?
“My goodness. Thunder have not been getting any of those calls all game.”
Despite missing his chance to break the record, Giddey was all smiles at full-time.
“We got the win and that’s what I’m happy about,” he said.
“Whatever I had to do out there to help us win, whether that was getting the ball, pushing the pace or setting other guys up, that’s what I did.”
Karma must’ve been on the Thunder’s side, because just when the Clippers looked to be opening up a lead in the last minute of play, Gilgeous-Alexander shot a buzzer-beating three-pointer to seal a one-point lead for the home side.
The New Orleans Pelicans snatched victory from the Thunder in similar fashion on Thursday (AEDT), when Devonte’ Graham shot from 20m away to steal victory, so it must’ve been the Thunder’s turn to dish out the punishment.
Giddey gets his next chance to enter the history books when the Thunder faces the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday (AEDT).
The Thunder will come into the match with a point to prove, having conceded the biggest defeat in NBA history when the sides met earlier this month, albeit without Giddey there to steer the ship.