NBA commentator slammed over 'unprofessional' Josh Giddey call

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·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
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Philadelphia 76ers commentator Alaa Abdelnaby has been criticised for saying on air that he didn't care if OKC Thunder guard was hurt after being fouled by 76ers big man Joel Embiid. Pictures: Instagram/Getty Images
Philadelphia 76ers commentator Alaa Abdelnaby has been criticised for saying on air that he didn't care if OKC Thunder guard was hurt after being fouled by 76ers big man Joel Embiid. Pictures: Instagram/Getty Images

Australian NBA rookie Josh Giddey has been turning a few heads during the very early days of the new NBA season, but his exploits clearly haven't yet earned the respect of Philadelphia TV commentators.

Picked sixth overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder following an impressive campaign in the NBL last year, Giddey has enjoyed a strong start to his NBA career.

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The 19-year-old dropped 19 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals in just his third NBA game, a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers took a 115-103 win, but not before star Joel Embiid attempted a vicious block on a Giddey layup with just over a minute left to play in the final quarter.

With the home team up by double-digits, nothing short of a miracle would have sparked an OKC comeback that late in the game, but Embiid nonetheless went for the highlight block.

The play was clumsy at best, with the towering Embiid and the smaller Giddey going crashing into the stanchion.

Embiid apologised as Giddey went to the free throw line for two shots, before getting a steal from Embiid and hitting a triple in his next time down the floor.

While it was an impressive sequence for Giddey, it was less so for NBA commentator Alaa Abdelnaby, who was on the call for NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Abdelnaby was immediately dismissive of any potential injury Giddey may have had, outright stating he only cared about Embiid's health.

He then went on to suggest Giddey should have been prepared to get hurt for going for a layup late in the game.

“I just worry about when he (Embiid) falls,” Abdelnaby said.

“No offense to Giddey, I could care less.

“But (Embiid), you don’t want to see him fall awkwardly because you worry as a Sixers fan.”

There was substantial backlash to the comments, particularly among Australian basketball fans.

Many took to Twitter to criticise Abdelnaby for the call, arguing it was fairly heartless to openly admit to not caring about injuries to opposing players.

Josh Giddey shines despite OKC Thunder's NBA loss

Point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 29 points and paired well with Giddey to please Thunder coach Mark Daigneault, who said his Aussie young gun appeared to be fine despite wincing after the heavy contact from Embiid.

"He had his foot on the gas tonight," the coach said of Giddey after his third NBA game.

"I thought there was a good collaborative rhythm tonight ... we're optimistic about that partnership ... it's going to improve over time."

Elsewhere, Patty Mills finally missed a shot, going two-of-10 from the field in Brooklyn's 111-95 loss to Charlotte.

Mills had set a historic pace at his new team, who have dropped to 1-2 this season, draining a perfect 10 from 10 three-point attempts in the opening two games before missing his first four from beyond the arc against the Hornets.

Former NBL import LaMelo Ball continued his impressive form for Charlotte (3-0) with 18 points, five rebounds and five assists while Miles Bridges produced a 360-degree slam dunk on his way to 32 points and nine rebounds.

Former NBL Rookie of the Year Josh Giddey has enjoyed a promising start to his NBA career. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Former NBL Rookie of the Year Josh Giddey has enjoyed a promising start to his NBA career. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Stephen Curry had an average shooting performance but still led all scorers with 27 points as Golden State made it three wins in a row by overcoming the Sacramento Kings 119-107.

Ja Morant (40 points, 10 assists) missed the chance to send Memphis into overtime with the Los Angeles Lakers when the last of his three free throws bounced off the rim with less than two seconds on the clock.

LeBron James (19 points, six rebounds, six assists), Anthony Davis (22 points, eight rebounds), Carmelo Anthony (28 points) all contributed in the 121-118 win that came after back-to-back losses to begin the season.

Boston scored their first win of the campaign with Jayson Tatum's 31 points and nine rebounds enough in a 107-97 defeat of Houston.

Orlando won for the first time this season courtesy of a team-high 29 points and 16 rebounds from Cole Anthony in a 110-104 defeat of the New York Knicks.

With AAP

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