Commissioner Adam Silver: NBA can't suspend Thunder's Josh Giddey on 'allegation alone'

NBA commissioner Adam Silver opened up about why the league has allowed Oklahoma City Thunder star Josh Giddey to continue playing despite being accused of having an improper relationship with a minor.

“I can’t think of many circumstances where we’ve suspended a player based on an allegation alone,” Silver said on ESPN’s “NBA Today” on Friday.

Last month, the league opened an investigation into the 21-year-old Giddey after viral photos posted on social media by an anonymous user connected the 21-year-old Australian native with an alleged underage female. The Newport Beach (Calif.) Police Department opened an investigation into the allegations shortly after.

In late November, social media posts showed a man who appears to be Giddey with a female in photos and video, but it is unclear when or where they were taken. The anonymous social media users who originally posted the images deleted them, but not before they were saved by others.

Giddey – who is averaging 11.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists and has played in all 20 games this season for the Thunder, including six since the allegations surfaced online – declined to comment on the matter, as did Thunder coach Mark Daigneault, who called it "a league matter."

Oklahoma City guard Josh Giddey, shown during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 25, 2023.
Oklahoma City guard Josh Giddey, shown during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 25, 2023.

On Friday, Silver explained that the league is following normal protocols in allowing Giddey to play while dual investigations are ongoing. He told ESPN's Malika Andrews that the NBA was notified by the Newport Beach Police Department of their independent investigation.

“I’m not going to say never ever, but I think this is the path we’ve consistently followed in the past," Silver said. “In this case, so we have an allegation and then you have a police investigation and then a parallel league investigation. I also add that, where there is a criminal investigation, we take a back seat… that impacts how the players and players association can work with us because of course the player needs to protect his rights."

Giddey is a third-year guard for the Thunder and was the No. 6 pick in the 2021 draft. He made the All-Rookie second-team in 2021-22 and has emerged as one of the game’s top do-everything young players. Giddey was born in Melbourne, Australia, and participated in the NBA’s Global Academy before playing for Adelaide in Australia’s pro league.

California-based attorney Gloria Allred, whose law firm is known for representing alleged victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, is representing the family of the minor with whom Giddey allegedly had an improper relationship with.

Contributing: Jeff Zillgitt

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Adam Silver on Thunder's Josh Giddey: NBA can't suspend for allegation