The Oklahoma City Thunder capped off a wild 2022-23 NBA season where they turned in 40 wins, earned a postseason victory in New Orleans, and finished a game away from the NBA Playoffs against the eventual Western Conference Champion Denver Nuggets. Josh Giddey was a key cog for the OKC Thunder season and is often times overshadowed for the year he had in Bricktown. Giddey penned a letter to the Thunder fanbase in the Players’ Tribune.
Throughout his article in the Players Tribune, the same site Kevin Durant broke the news to Thunder fans that he was leaving Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors, Giddey reflected on the two seasons he has spent in Bricktown. Giddey always wanted the OKC Thunder to draft him back in 2021, and it is clear this has been the place he wanted to be.
Josh Giddey reflects on this season with the OKC Thunder, including the final game this season against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were bounced from the NBA Play-In Tournament in the second game, a win-or-go-home game for the right to advance to the first round. The Minnesota Timberwolves drummed the OKC Thunder, ending their Cinderella season a game early. Josh Giddey reflected on that game with some profound thoughts:
"“Coming off such a good win in New Orleans in the postseason, the stakes were so high. We’re on the road. We’re a young team. No one thought we were going to win that game, and we beat them in their building. And for me, that was my first postseason win, so it was special. As a kid, you grow up watching those types of games. It was something I used to dream about. Then we had to turn around and play Minnesota two days later. And unfortunately, we just weren’t ready from the jump. They put it on us early. That was a team that had been in that situation before. They knew what it took to win those types of games.”"
Josh Giddey continued to say “We treated New Orleans like any other game. But in Minnesota, it felt like we tried to do things that we hadn’t done all year. We didn’t stick with what had got us there, and we have to live with that. But if I know anything about this team, I know we’ll grow from it.” It was great insight into what truly went wrong against Minnesota. This team that played relatively loose all season and in the moment, allowed themselves to get a bit bright eyed on this stage.
To me, that highlights why the OKC Thunder getting this play-in experience was so good for them as other fans called for an end of the season tank. They have now been in that situation, experienced the do’s and don’t’s of preparing for a postseason game.
Throughout this article, Josh Giddey praised the OKC crowd, Sam Presti, and his teammates. Josh Giddey ended with this “I love our group, man. And from the bottom of my heart, I love this city. We’re not even close to the team that we can be. And I think that’s a great position for us to be in. More success is on the way. See you in October.” See you in October, Indeed. Make sure you check out the full article from Josh Giddey.