On Sunday, Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Josh Giddey offered some details about his friendship with Utah Jazz forward and fellow Australian Joe Ingles ahead of their matchup on Wednesday.
Giddey connected with Ingles a few years ago and the two would often talk as the Jazz veteran would offer some tips and pointers when necessary. He revealed that Ingles would stay up late to watch him play with the Adelaide 36ers last season in the National Basketball League.
He was one of the first guys to reach out to me when I first signed my contract in Adelaide. We’ve spoke a lot through the years. He was staying up until three in the morning to watch my games and giving me feedback to help me out.
However, that’s not quite how the story goes, at least, according to Ingles.
Ingles would watch Giddey play on occasion but clarified it wasn’t because he stayed up specifically to catch his games. Instead, the bulk of that came when the Jazz would be on late-night plane rides during the course of the season.
When asked on Tuesday about Giddey, Ingles hilariously stopped the reporter.
Is this that stupid question that he got the other day saying I stayed up all night or something? That was because I was on a plane. … I did watch him. He played for my hometown, which was nice. Just giving him an open line and vice versa. If I watched the game, because of that travel, not because I stayed up to watch him play, I would watch a lot of games and shoot him a text with some things and vice versa.
Like Giddey, Ingles played in the NBL, as well. He spent three seasons with the South Dragons, which are now a defunct team, prior to playing in Europe and before joining the Jazz in 2014. He would give tips to Giddey about the level of play in the NBL.
The two had the opportunity to spend time together this summer with Australia in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. Giddey did not make the final 12-man roster but played with the Boomers in some exhibition games in Las Vegas before the team departed for Tokyo.
Ingles joked that Giddey would almost ask too many questions.
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.
As fate would have it, Oklahoma City opens the regular season on the road Wednesday against Ingles and the Utah Jazz. The contest will have special meaning for Giddey as his first NBA game and his first matchup against Ingles.
The chance to play Igles will certainly be a fun moment for Giddey. Bragging rights will no doubt be on the line between the two players, so it will be worth watching to see how it all unfolds.
This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!