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Joe Ingles shares the "annoying" player who's going to be the next big thing

Joe-Ingles

Australians have been making a name for themselves in the NBA. The likes of Luc Longley, Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Ben Simmons, and Matisse Thybulle have made and are continuing to leave a mark on the biggest basketball stage.

In the 2021 NBA Draft, 19-year-old Josh Giddey joined that list and made every Australian proud after he was selected sixth overall pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Utah Jazz swingman Joe Ingles was one of those who believes Giddey is one heck of talent but couldn't help to make fun of the young player. 

Ingles spent some time with Giddey during the Australian national team’s preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. Giddey failed to make the cut but he left a lasting impression on Ingles, particularly the barrage of questions the 19-year-old threw at him.

"I don’t know how many times you give someone the opportunity to ask questions and they really take as much of it on as they can. He was almost to the point of being annoying with the questions but I, obviously, committed to trying to help him. With the national team, he didn’t make the final team, but to spend time with him … I knew he was going to be a hell of a player when he got over here and so far, so good. He has played well."

Joe Inlges, Yahoo Sports

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This was Ingles' response to Giddey praising his mentorship. The rookie talked about Ingles staying up to three in the morning to watch his game and send feedback. Ingles confirmed this, that he did tune in to Giddey’s games in the wee hours of the morning — that’s because he was on a plane. It follows the adage that every film screen in a plane is a great film, simply because you have nothing else to do. If you ever heard Ingles speak, you know a dose of humor and sarcasm is to be expected.

Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault shared that in their preseason game against the Denver Nuggets, he specifically set up a play for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who’s now regarded as the team’s franchise star. But in an interesting turn of events, Alexander asked Giddey to run it instead. No one batted an eye at Alexander’s decision. They all know that the kid has something special in him. The fact that he stands 6-foot-8 with a guard’s instincts and has occasionally been compared to Luka Dončić says it all. 

“[He] is like a good quarterback that will take the check down if the big play isn’t there.”

Mark Daigneault, Fox Sports

Whether Giddey turns out to be a bright star for the Thunder is still a matter of wait-and-see. But from what we know about him, he seems to have the complete package. The rookie has the natural smarts and he has this immense need to satiate his curiosity. Ingles, on top of his duties for the Jazz, may have his work cut out for him with Giddey now around. 

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