The bar currently set for Australian athletes lending their talents across the Pacific is pretty low at this point; all we ask is that you simply don’t disgrace yourself and the country by extension. At Boss Hunting, we could honestly talk about Josh Giddey all day. Not only is the golden boy playing tremendous basketball in his rookie season, but he’s also spreading the good word about what it’s like back home. It’s an uphill battle, as we see here from watching Josh Giddey try to explain AFL.
Listening to the man speak for even a second will give you a sense of just how Australian he is. The 19-year-old Melbourne native is on record as saying that cricket is better than baseball, footy is better than American football, Tim Tams are better than Oreos, and Vegemite goes better on toast than jelly. You cannot help but love the guy.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, AFL is an area of particular importance to Josh Giddey. When talking to the media during All-Star weekend because of his inclusion in the Rising Stars game, Giddey had his opportunity to talk about Australian rules football. The look on the poor kid’s face when asked:
“So, it’s not rugby?”
Here, we see Giddey explain the contact of AFL in terms of NFL without the pads. He also offers a comparison between the centre position in basketball, to a ruckman in Aussie rules given their required height. While Giddey is clearly in his element playing basketball, he expresses here that he especially misses the need to hit people in the sport of his childhood.
It’s an interesting “what if” to consider a world where Josh Giddey plays in the AFL instead of the NBA. While Josh Giddey obviously played basketball throughout high school, he was also a “really good” ruckman for the Yarraville Seddon Eagles. Josh Giddey already stands an inch taller than the height of your average ruckman in the AFL at 6’8″, so there is probably an alternate timeline where the NBA Global Academy doesn’t offer him a scholarship, and he instead pursues a career with your favourite club.
At the end of the day, Josh Giddey is getting paid US$6.3 million (AU$9.4 million) a year to play his first sport of choice. For a kid who was going around offering to mow people’s lawns for $10-$15 back in the day, it really is cool to see him killing it at what he loves most.