NBA 2022: All-Star game, skills challenge, Josh Giddey, reaction, AFL, video, Oklahoma City Thunder, triple-doubles

An American reporter has apologized in the middle of an interview with NBA star Josh Giddey for questions about Australian football.

Josh Giddey is taking the basketball world by storm but there seems to be just as much of a fascination with his early beginnings playing Australian rules football.

And one American journalist used Giddey’s media opportunity before the Rising Stars Game to learn a thing or two about the sport.

You can read the full transcript of the pair’s chat below as Giddey tries his best to explain just how Aussie rules football works.

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REPORT: “What is Australian Rules Football?

GIDDEY: “I don’t know how to… you could say it’s NFL in terms of contact, AFL wears no protection, no helmets, no padding, nothing like that. You kick it around the field. You kick it through the middle of big posts and it’s six points. If you miss, it’s one point. It’s sort of like, it’s a complicated game. You have to watch it to understand it.

REPORT: “So, it’s not rugby.

GIDDEY: “No. It’s similar in some aspects but not really.

REPORT: “And I understand that you were good at playing Australian Rules Football.

GIDDEY: “Yeah.

REPORT: “Like, how good?

GIDDEY: “I was pretty good. Like, to the point I had to decide which path I wanted to take. It was a tough decision. When I was 15 or 16 I had to decide which way I wanted to go.

For context, Giddey played as a ruckman for the Yarraville Seddon Eagles while also starring in high school basketball for the Melbourne Tigers.

Eventually, the now 19-year-old had to make a call and decided to pursue a career in basketball.

REPORT: “Can you tell me more about the situation, what went into the decision?

GIDDEY: “I got a scholarship offer to the NBA Academy when I was 15 or 16 and I was really good at football at the time. I loved footy and I wanted to keep playing it but I knew when I made that decision I had to part ways with one of the sports. It was tough I sat on it for a little bit but decided to stay with basketball.

REPORT: “Are there, sorry for being ignorant, are there positions in Australian Rules Football. What was your position?

GIDDEY: “I was a ruckman. It’s the equivalent of a center here. It’s like the tallest guy usually plays and for a footballer I’m pretty tall.

REPORT: “And what does that guy do?

GIDDEY: “It’s like if there’s a jump ball in a basketball game where the centers tip it, that’s the ruckman. Every time there’s like a goal scored, the ball goes back to the middle for a jump ball. That’s what I do.

REPORT: “Did you have to hit people to…

GIDDEY: “Yeah you’ve got to hit people.”

REPORT: “When you were a ruckman, is that a school sport?

GIDDEY: “That’s a school sport. I played for a club team. School football is really big in Australia but I played basketball for my school and football for a club outside of school.

Giddey had two points, nine rebounds and six assists as his Team Worthy bowed out of the Rising Stars tournament.

Giddey will participate on Sunday as a member of a three-man rookie team in the Skills Challenge against a side made up of the three Antetokounmpo brothers (Giannis, Alex and Thanasis) as well as a trio of Cleveland Cavaliers players.

He is also fresh from breaking a 61-year-old record.

The OKC Thunder guard became the youngest player in league history to record a triple double and is now also the second, third and fourth to do so, having pulled off his third triple-double in a row against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday afternoon ( AEDT).

Originally published as US journo’s cringeworthy ‘Aussie’ questions to NBA star

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