SALT LAKE CITY — The Thunder are out in full force at the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend in Utah, with Josh Giddey and rookie Jalen Williams competing in the Jordan Rising Stars, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is set to take the floor for the All-Star Game Sunday night.
Gilgeous-Alexander is the first Thunder All-Star since Chris Paul in 2019-20, an accolade that goes beyond his incredible play this season, serving as a key milestone in the team’s rebuild.
With Giddey making his second appearance at All-Star Weekend in as many seasons in the league, seeing his backcourt running mate in the NBA’s marquee showcase is adding motivation for the Aussie to make that same leap in the future. But for now, he’s focused on helping the Thunder continue to make noise in the Western Conference.
“I think he’s deserved that for a while.” – Josh Giddey on @okcthunder teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander being named an #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/gxhWTzi5hx
— Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane) February 18, 2023
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“To see your teammate be an All-Star, obviously so excited for him, so happy for him. I think he’s deserved that for a while now and it’s great to see him get that recognition,” Giddey told The Sporting News.
“For us at the end of the day, the team’s not too caught up on individual accolades. I think the more we can keep growing together, whether we’ve got three All-Stars, five All-Stars or no All-Stars, the team environment is still the same, and I think that’s the best part about our young group, guys are genuinely happy for each other.
“Whether I’m an All-Star next year, in 10 years, or never am, you’re treated the same way when you step in the building, so it’s a great environment to be in.”
Despite only being in his sophomore season in the league, at 20 years old, Giddey has established himself as one of the key leaders on this Thunder squad, embracing the responsibility as one of the faces of the franchise.
“Being a guard, you have to naturally be a leader, you have to have a voice. I guess you’re an extension of the coach in that sense on the floor,” Giddey added.
“Being in my second year, it’s not typically a leadership role for such a young guy, but we’ve got such a young team, guys are kind of having to adapt to new roles very quickly and I’ve embraced that. I love being vocal and trying to help teammates out, so definitely a fun part of the game.”
Giddey coming for League Fits crown
Gilgeous-Alexander might hold the crown as the King of League Fits, but Giddey is doing his best to add his name to the conversation.
Giddey’s off-court style has been turning heads since his rookie season. On Saturday night, he had the Twitter timeline buzzing, rocking a custom blue fur coat to the Rising Stars Challenge, with a little inspiration from Justin Bieber.
MORE: How Josh Giddey crafts unique style on and off the floor
Josh Giddey’s custom made coat 🥶#JordanRisingStars | #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/GOav5yd1CU
— NBA (@NBA) February 18, 2023
“The coat… that was probably my most bold thing I’ve ever worn,” Giddey said following the Jordan Rising Stars.
“It’s All-Star Weekend so you gotta dress up.
“It’s #NBAAllStar Weekend so you gotta dress up.” https://t.co/3X6Us6eLWO pic.twitter.com/yiwyM7sftm
— NBA (@NBA) February 18, 2023
“I saw a photo of Justin Bieber wearing a pretty similar coat and I told my agent I want to wear it and he got it customised and we got it made just in time for All-Star Weekend.
“I wanted to do something with it and I think the fit went well tonight.”