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Boomers coach Goorjian reveals why Giddey didn’t make Tokyo Olympics squad


Australian Boomers coach Brian Goorjian has explained why budding NBA rookie Josh Giddey missed out on selection for the Tokyo Olympics.

Despite having a standout year for the Adelaide 36ers in the NBL that culminated in him being picked sixth overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2021 NBA draft, Giddey didn’t make Australia’s 12 man group for the 2020 games.

While in hindsight it appears Giddey could’ve made an impact in the side’s bronze medal winning performance, Goorjian says his interrupted spell in training camp was ultimately what cost him a spot.

“We had a four day window to look at everybody,” Goorjian said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“This was a one-off opportunity for a 12-year build, again, I always use the same phrase, I’m being honest here, he had a lot on his plate when we went into Irvine and practised.

“I thought a lot of times during that, he was fatigued … he’d have a workout with the Warriors, he’d have a photoshoot in the city, he’d come back, and this thing was competitive.

“It came down to him and Josh Green, and we had three days of practise … it was pretty close, they played a scrimmage against five or six guys … NBL players … and the Josh Green kid just played better.

“We had to do the selection before we went to Vegas … we had a brand new coaching staff and they had four days to shine.”

While Goorjian admitted that Dallas’ Green performed better to earn his place on the roster, the coach says further complications with his draft availability made it an easier call.

“We knew when we got to the Village, it was going to be draft day,” Goorjian explained.

“We were dealing with the flag, the march, and a lot of things were sidetracking us from what needed to be done, which was difficult.

“In the four day process it wasn’t just what we do … he was getting ready for the draft … he didn’t have much time.”

Giddey has gone on to be one of the NBA’s most impressive rookies in his first season, averaging 11.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game for the Thunder thus far.

Listen to the full chat here.

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