Nicknames are something that just happens. The only lousy nickname is a forced or self-given one. You can not pick your family or your nicknames, no matter how bad they are. For Josh Giddey, he has seen his fair share of nicknames brought to the table. The latest? Let’s just say he is not a fan of it.
The OKC Thunder selected Josh Giddey with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, a surprise move at the time but one that has worked out for the franchise. Giddey’s best skillset is his elite playmaking, something that really comes into play as an in-bounder.
For my money, Josh Giddey is the best inbounds passer in the League. There is a reason Mark Daigneault has trusted the young guard to run those actions right out of the gate. Not only is the Thunder bench boss excellent at drawing up Sideline out-of-bounds (SLOB) and Baseline out-of-bounds (BLOB) plays, but Josh Giddey is excellent at executing them.
OKC Thunder guard Josh Giddey is not a fan of his latest Nickname, but it is not going away anytime soon.
This is a skill we have been tracking for a long time, but as the Thunder catch the eye of the National Media more and more, they are getting to enjoy Josh Giddey’s dazzling bounce passes.
While this is a factual statement by Athletic scribe John Hollinger, the phrasing is a little suspect. This led Josh Giddey to voice his playful displeasure with the label on Twitter almost immediately.
As is often the case in life, it is not what you say it is how you say it. While Hollinger is correct, you can not label Josh Giddey a “SLOB Wizard” without it coming across as not safe for work content. After a good laugh by Giddey, the nickname took on a life of its own.
The NBA was hooked on calling the 21-year-old guard a “SLOB Wizard.” This afternoon at shoot around ahead of the team’s National TV matchup with the Pelicans, Giddey was asked about his thoughts on the SLOB Wizard nickname.
His constant fighting of the Nickname, in good fun, has only put on more steam for fans wanting to use it. Now, it has gone so far that Basketball Reference has plastered it on their site as an official nickname for the Australian guard.
The optics of the Nickname aside, it is an accurate one. I asked Josh Giddey if he had a preference on side out or baseline out plays, and he said, “Sideline or baseline, I am just trying to make a play” on throwing bounce passes. “It is just the play we run, usually run the same one, the first read is usually to Lu [Dort], and the pass is hard to make by throwing a chest pass is it has got to be a bounce pass if it is going to get to him.”
As the pioneer of the Thunder’s BLOB and SLOB plays, Josh Giddey is leading the Thunder to a success rate that is in the 93rd percentile on SLOB plays and the 90th percentile on BLOB plays. Mark Daigneault’s trust in Giddey to make the right reads, and the ability for his teammates to cut against the defense leads to the Thunder’s bread-and-butter formula in OKC.
Sadly for Josh, the nickname is here to stay. But with a great story behind it and a few laughs, it is a moment OKC Thunder fans will remember forever. This might just be the new-aged “Mom just made Pizza Rolls” meme.