September 26, 2023

‘It was obvious he had NBA potential’: Josh Giddey’s bright start no surprise to some

Darryl McDonald has known Josh Giddey since he was a little child. The 57-year-old previous NBL star, inseparable from the association’s greatness long stretches of the 1990s and 2000s, played against Josh’s father, Melbourne Tigers champion Warrick.

Warrick Giddey would then fill in as partner mentor at the Tigers where McDonald played out his profession. They instructed youngsters together at the Tigers and against one another in school b-ball.

McDonald recalls Josh Giddey humming around ball camps as a young person having a great time and finishing every one of the drills. All the more as of late, he has worked intently in the course of the most recent a year with the youthful weapon who, as a first-round draft pick, is causing ripple effects in his youngster NBA season.”There’s this one day I watched him play,” McDonald says. “Josh was playing for the Tigers in the Under-18 titles against Bulleen at the State Basketball Center [in Melbourne’s external eastern suburbs].”I watched him fall off a pick and roll and toss a left-gave dart to the contrary corner. At the point when I saw that I’m believing ‘that is unique, I haven’t seen no one at that age do that’. Furthermore, mind you, he’s right-given. I’d heard he was acceptable however it was that game, I thought ‘alright he’s extraordinary’.”

During lockdown in Melbourne last year, a common contact connected with McDonald. “Josh needs to work with you” was the message. In this way, the pair got to work at Hoop City, a new bayside cutting edge ball office.

“I recall him as a little kid,” McDonald says. “At the point when I initially began sorting out him, I strolled in and saw him and said to myself, ‘damn this person is a 6ft 8in point watch, those folks don’t develop on trees. It was clear he had NBA potential. His game and what he can do is made for the NBA.

“I love his balance. You can’t surge him, he plays at his own speed. Also, he’s a youngster, 6th pick of the draft, individuals will attempt him yet he doesn’t withdraw and I love that with regards to him.

“He’s out there hooping, playing his game, doing what he can do and being powerful. Just put the ball in his grasp and let him make plays. I check out Luka Doncic and I think Josh has that equivalent capacity – that size, having the option to investigate guard and make plays.”

Late in 2020, Giddey made a beeline for Adelaide for his presentation NBL season where he would guarantee Rookie of the Year. Toward the finish of the period, he reconnected with McDonald.

“He hit me on Instagram – ‘I’m returning home for quite a long time, we should get in the rec center’,” McDonald says. “His representative likewise hit me and said ‘I want you to work with him and prepare him before America’, so we went Monday to Friday for around five weeks.”

In the number one spot up to July’s NBA draft, Giddey would lift loads every morning, shoot with Andrew Gaze then, at that point, meet McDonald at 8pm.

“It was a great deal of ball taking care of, a ton of pick and roll stuff. He buckled down. We’d go 90 minutes consistently and he hit each drill hard,” McDonald says. “Not one day did I stroll in and need to say ‘listen fella, in the event that you would rather not go, go home and relax’.”

Watching Giddey play in the NBA is a “delight” for McDonald. “I definitely love what I’m seeing,” he says. “Josh playing yet playing ridiculously well. I mean he’s simply turned 19. Watching his capacity to make, offer individuals chances, have himself chances. You see the reason why he’s on this stage.”

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