NBA 2023: Oklahoma City Thunder lose to Pelicans, Josh Giddey hits back at viral nickname, stats

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Sorry to tell you Josh Giddey, but your nickname is not yours…

The Australian prodigy has already set the NBA on fire on the big stage at the start of this third season with countless highlights.

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While the All-Star honors may seem like just a future formality for Giddey, the 21-year-old has really shown that he has become a fan favorite after being nicknamed by the masses.

At 203cm and 98kg, Giddey’s passing skills and all-around game have attracted a lot of people’s attention, but his incoming shots in particular are arguably the best in the NBA.

Giddey can see the play happening in advance, allowing him to pass through incredibly tight areas to set up teammates for open shots.

The skill has an acronym of SLOB (for SideLine Out of Bounds) and thus Giddey’s “SLOB wizard” nickname was born.

The Athletic’s John Hollinger inadvertently gave Giddey the nickname last weekend, writing on

Since then, Giddey himself made a light-hearted joke about the new name on X, writing: “A sloppy wizard is insane,” as well as a series of crying emojis.

Then on Tuesday (AEDT) against the Pistons, fans brought it into the real world, as members of the crowd shouted: “Good job slob wizard!” before another fan intervened with “slob wizard” as Giddey came to the bench.

Giddey then responded.

Even basketball stats aggregator Basketball Reference got in on the action, adding “SLOB Wizard” to its bio.

But when asked about the new nickname, Giddey wasn’t too happy.

“Oh my God, let’s not fix that stick now,” Giddey said. “That has gone on too long.”

But Giddey may be in for a fight as fans seem to love the new name.

One fan wrote: “SLOB Wizard has to be the most insane nickname of all time.”

Daily Thunder OKC beat writer Brandon Rahbar tweeted in reference to the Basketball Reference movement: “Josh Giddey is officially The SLOB Wizard. ️

“Should add Vanilla Magic while they’re at it.”

Although not an inbounds, Giddey had another highlight pass in his side’s 110-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans with a one-handed alley-oop pass that commentators said very few other players could have executed.

But despite all the SLOB magic at his disposal, Giddey couldn’t take his team to the W.

The Thunder blew a 19-point lead in the first quarter as the Pelicans came back to claim the victory in Oklahoma City.

Giddey scored 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the first half of the game, but he fell off sharply in the second half, finishing the game with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes.

The Thunder were led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s 20 points, eight assists, Chet Holmgren’s 19 points, 11 rebounds and Jalen Williams’ 18 points and eight rebounds.

CJ McCollum (29 points, 11 rebounds) and Zion Williamson (20 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) each posted a double-double as the Pelicans moved to 3-1 on the season.

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