Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey will not face criminal charges following an investigation into allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Newport Beach police have closed their investigation after being unable to corroborate any criminal wrongdoing.
Background of the Allegations
Reports surfaced last week that Giddey was under investigation over allegations he had engaged in an improper relationship with a minor. Few details were initially released about the specific allegations.
The Australian native, who turned 21 in October, was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft by the Thunder. He has emerged as one of the top young players on the rebuilding Thunder team this season, averaging over 16 points per game.
According to police, they began investigating the matter after receiving information on social media about the allegations involving Giddey. Police stressed that they investigate all such reports, regardless of an individual’s celebrity status.
Details of the Police Investigation
The Newport Beach Police Department took over the primary investigation given Giddey’s local ties. He rents a home during the offseason in Newport Beach.
In a statement released Wednesday, Newport Beach police said that their investigation included multiple interviews and an analysis of available electronic evidence.
Ultimately, they said they were unable to corroborate any criminal behavior. With no evidence found of a crime, the department has closed the investigation from their end.
Thunder and NBA Response
The Oklahoma City Thunder released a brief statement saying they were aware the Newport Beach police investigation had concluded and that they would await next steps on the review by the NBA.
The NBA is also reportedly reviewing the matter according to their policies, independent of any criminal investigation.
There has been no indication yet on potential discipline Giddey could face from the league, if any. Other players have faced suspensions over personal conduct violations even without criminal charges.
Reaction Around the NBA
The conclusion of the police investigation without charges has drawn mixed reactions around the league. Some applauded the outcome, while others argued the allegations alone could tarnish Giddey’s reputation.
Fans in Los Angeles reportedly booed Giddey throughout the Thunder’s loss Tuesday night to the Lakers. The reception highlighted how polarizing the Australian has become.
On social media, debates also emerged about whether Giddey deserved the benefit of the doubt or if the allegations would linger over his career.
Several sports law experts told reporters that while no criminal charges helps Giddey, the 21-year-old would likely still need to rebuild his image through his future conduct.
What Happens Next
With Newport Beach police closing their investigation, attention now shifts to the NBA’s own review under league policies. The Thunder and Giddey will await next steps from the NBA on any potential discipline.
Criminal defense attorneys tell news outlets that the lack of corroborating evidence significantly helps Giddey avoid substantial punishment from the NBA. But a suspension remains possible under the personal conduct policy.
Giddey and the Thunder also acknowledged in statements that rebuilding trust would be an ongoing process despite avoiding criminal charges. Some expect Giddey to avoid heavy media attention in the near future as he looks to focus on basketball.
The table below summarizes the key events so far and what is still to be determined in the Josh Giddey investigation saga:
|January 11, 2023
|Initial reports emerge of investigation into improper relationship between Giddey and a minor
|Newport Beach Police Launch Investigation
|January 12, 2023
|Newport Beach police takeover probe due to Giddey’s local ties
|NBA Begins Review
|January 15, 2023
|League opens independent review of matter under personal conduct policies
|Police Announce Closing Investigation
|January 18, 2023
|Newport Beach police say investigation unable to corroborate criminal activity
|Next Steps: NBA Review
|NBA continuing review process to determine if any discipline warranted
|Next Steps: Rebuilding Image
|Giddey expected to avoid heavy media attention as he focuses on basketball
Giddey’s future remains closely tied to the NBA’s own findings even with Newport Beach police closing their criminal investigation. While a cloud of uncertainty lingers, the lack of evidence of a crime suggests minimal discipline from the league.
Over time, Giddey hopes his conduct restores his reputation as he looks to move on. But the allegations may not be soon forgotten as the 21-year-old’s emergence into stardom hits its first major off-court hurdle.
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