Josh Giddey

Live From Cleveland

Giddey's Weekend

Paris Lawson is on site to follow Thunder rookie Josh Giddey through his first NBA All-Star Weekend experience.

CLEVELAND — The All-Star break has officially arrived, which means an action-packed weekend for Thunder rookie Josh Giddey. The 6-foot-8 guard will be participating in both the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night and the Skills Challenge on Saturday.

Be sure to follow along at @okcthunder on all social channels for immediate updates of of Giddey’s experiences and at for daily recaps.


6:00 p.m. ET – For the second time in 24 hours, Josh Giddey made his way into Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse only this time with a few less jitters.  

Giddey stepped off the bus with his fellow Skills Challenge teammates, Scottie Barnes and Cade Cunningham and strutted the concrete catwalk before heading into the locker room to change into his uniform. The selection for the night – OKC's crispy 2021 City Edition uniform. 

An hour before the competition started, Giddey had a quick television interview on the floor before huddling up with all of the participants of the Skills Competition for a brief, but necessary walkthrough of the brand-new format. 

The entire group moved their way through the court getting familiar with the new layout and obstacles they'd soon be navigating through. Giddey made a point to get a few shots up over the spinning arms of the automatic defender - something that would pay off later. 

The Thunder rookie signed a couple of autographs before heading back to the locker room area for a team photo shoot. Giddey was a member of Team Rooks that included Cunningham and Barnes. Their opponents included Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland and Evan Mobley of Team Cavs along with Giannis, Alex and Thanasis Antetokounmpo representing Team Antetokounmpo. 

Giddey went first in every aspect of the event. He was the first name announced in player introductions and he was the first player to take the stage for the shooting competition. The rookie kicked things off on a high note as he recorded 16 points in his opening performance.

"It's tough going first. You don't know what to expect," said Giddey. "I just tried to get our team off to a good start as best as I could."

The rookies advanced to the final round thanks to a strong performance in the team relay. In the final round, the Rooks took 9.9 seconds to sink a half-court shot. Unfortunately, it only took Team Cavs 5.5 seconds which meant Team Rooks would take the runner-up in the competition.

Giddey's squad may have finished second, but the trio shared multiple laughs in the post-challenge interview. The rookies, all sitting side-by-side, took turns bantering about the struggles navigating the new format and recounted the moments that may have made the difference in the outcome. For Giddey, that camaraderie superseded any outcome on the floor. 

“For me, that’s the best part about this weekend," said Giddey.  “The other rookies—we play against them but you don't necessarily get to spend time with or hang out with them. I think this weekend is a great opportunity to do that. Cade and Scottie and I had nothing to do with prior to this and now we're cool straight from Day One."

11:00 a.m. ET - It's been three days of near non-stop action for Giddey in Cleveland. After wrapping up a memorable evening in the Rising Stars Challenge, it was time to shift gears to the Skills Challenge on Saturday which meant media interviews at Cleveland State University in the morning. 

Sitting at his podium for the second time that weekend, the rookie made clear he hadn't lost any of his appreciation or enthusiasm for the moment. 

"I'm enjoying the weekend," said Giddey. "Being around the guys, last night was a lot of fun playing in the Rising Stars Challenge and I'm looking forward to skills challenge tonight."

(Coby Van Loan | OKC Thunder)

Giddey cited his opportunity to meet the legendary Hall-of-Famer James Worthy during the Rising Stars Challenge and recounted seeing the likes of Dikembe Mutombo and Shaquille O'Neal in attendance courtside. As a 19-year-old, international rookie, being surrounded by NBA royalty makes as much of an impact on his All-Star Weekend experience as the action on the floor.  

"It's an awesome atmosphere to be in with all the greats involved in the game that are here in Cleveland," said Giddey. 

Giddey will have plenty of skills to put on display in Saturday night's festivities. The competition features a combination of shooting, passing and dribbling challenges and the rookie leader in assists had no trouble deciding which element he was looking forward to the most.

"I've been looking forward to the passing part a lot," Giddey chuckled. "I'm excited for it. It's going be a lot of fun. It's obviously a new format this year, but excited to meet my teammates and get to it."

Giddey will compete on Team Rooks alongside fellow rookies Cade Cunningham and Scottie Barnes in the newly formatted Skills Challenge. The brand-new format features three teams of three players competing in a four-round skills competition. The winners of each round will receive "Challenge Points" and the two teams with the most Challenge Points at the end of three rounds will advance to the Final Round. 

The Skills Competition will take place as part of the All-Star Saturday night that includes the 3-point and dunk competitions. The event begins at 7 pm CT on TNT. 


8:00 p.m. ET – The time had finally come for Giddey. Just 12 months ago, the Aussie guard could have only dreamed of the opportunity to take the stage during NBA All-Star Weekend and on Friday afternoon that dream became a reality.

Giddey dressed for the occasion sporting a splashy denim jacket, black jeans and white sneakers on his way to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. In the locker room, however, the rookie would be sure to snap a picture of the most important fit of the night – his bright orange Rising Stars uniform. 

After warm ups on the court, the lights faded in the arena. The music amped up and the players were ushered to the main stage for their introductions and grand entrance onto the floor. 

The spotlight hit each player as the public address announcer introduced them one by one. Giddey’s team, Team Worthy, was up first. 

"The youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double, Josh Giddey," boomed over the loud speakers as Giddey raised both hands in a wave to the crowd. 

After the pomp and circumstance, it was time to hit the floor. Giddey was a member of Worthy’s starting five and while the Aussie guard hadn't spent much time with his Rising Star teammates, that didn't stop him from making some highlight-worthy connections. 

After an opposing team bucket, the Thunder's inbounds specialist snagged the ball out of the rim, stepped out of bounds and rifled an underhanded laser up the full length of the floor to Jalen Suggs for a dunk. 

A few possessions later, Giddey lobbed a perfectly-timed alley-oop to Jalen Green from the sideline. The Thunder’s assist leader finished the game with a team-leading six assists and several ooh’s and ah’s from the All-Star crowd. 

While the night centered around the on-court challenges, Giddey walked away with so much more. As an international player, the rookie hadn’t gotten the chance to learn about many of his prospective NBA peers prior to joining the NBA. The Rising Stars experience gave him the opportunity to spend time and get to know his counterparts across the league. 

Additionally, Giddey spend the evening surrounded by NBA Hall of Fame legends as well as current and former All Stars. For a 19-year-old who just a few years ago wasn’t entirely convinced he would continue to even play basketball, the experience and grandeur made it all the more special.

Giddey’s All Star Weekend experience will continue through Saturday as he competes in the Skills Challenge at 7 p.m. CT.

Rising Stars Challenge: Josh Giddey

9:15 a.m. ET – It had been a whirlwind for Giddey since arriving to snowy Cleveland on Thursday. He bounced from Skills Challenge practice in the afternoon to the NBA Entertainment Media Circuit in the evening, where he navigated through a gauntlet of interviews and photoshoots.

It wasn’t until Friday, when he saw his name on the back of his Rising Stars practice jersey, that things began to truly sink in for the Australian native. He was no longer watching All-Star Weekend, he was participating in it.

Giddey arrived at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Friday morning which would host the group of Rising Stars for practice. After a quick stop at the media podium, the 6-foot-8 guard finally made his way to the comfort of the hardwood for some light work with his fellow Rising Star teammates.

Giddey is one of seven members of Team Worthy (coached by NBA Hall-of-Famer James Worthy). Giddey’s teammates include Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs from the Orlando Magic, Jalen Green from the Houston Rockets, Herbert Jones from New Orleans, Tyrese Maxey from the 76ers and MarJon Beauchamp pf G-League Ignite.

After a few quick warm-ups, the Rising Stars went through a series of shooting drills and ran over couple of offensive sets to use for the game. The final piece of business before practice ended? A classic game of knockout. Smiles plastered each of the players’ faces as they hustled to avoid elimination – flicking up quick layups and lining up in-rhythm 3-pointers. It was the perfect bonding for Team Worthy before the real competition later in the evening. 

The Rising Stars Challenge is set to tip off at 8 p.m. CT on TNT. The game features a new mini-tournament format as well as a shooting challenge in-between games. 


The Rising Stars Challenge will take on a much different look than previous seasons. Rather than two teams divided between World and USA, 28 players have been divided into four teams of seven. Additionally, the 28 players are comprised of 12 rookies, 12 sophomores as well as four members of the G-League Ignite. 

Each team will be coached by one of four members of the NBA 75 list: Rick Barry, Gary Payton, James Worthy and Isiah Thomas. The four coaches selected their teams through the Rising Stars draft. Giddey was selected by Worthy.

The competition will take the form of a three-game mini-tournament. In Game 1, Team Isiah will face Team Worthy. In Game 2, Team Barry will play Team Payton. The winners will play in the Final. 

Games 1 and 2 will be played until a team reaches a target score of 50 points. The Final will be played until a team reaches 25 points. 


Giddey is one of eight players divided into four teams competing in the two-man Clutch Challenge. He is partnered with Cleveland rookie Evan Mobley. The objective is to make five shots from five different spots on the court in under 90 seconds. The team that makes all five shots with the fastest time wins.