Adam Silver spoke to the media this week about something of a dicey topic: the allegations surrounding Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey.
In late November, a claim emerged that Giddey was romantically involved with an underaged high schooler. Multiple troubling photos and videos seemed to support this allegation.
The PR attacks Giddey’s family appeared to launch against the girl involved seemed to back up the idea that something had in fact occurred.
And yet despite everything, neither Silver nor the NBA found it appropriate to suspend Giddey.
Naturally, given how quick the league was to suspend Kyrie Irving (resulting in him losing a lot of money) for posting a controversial movie link on social media – many took to wondering why the same punishment wasn’t levied towards Giddey.
Silver attempted to clarify this week.
“I can’t think of many circumstances where we’ve suspended a player based on an allegation alone… where there is a criminal investigation, we take a backseat… That’s where things currently stand.”
Adam Silver on the Josh Giddey situation.pic.twitter.com/iGFpxmP5zs
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) December 8, 2023
“I can’t think of many circumstances where we’ve suspended a player based on an allegation alone. Where there is a criminal investigation, we take a backseat.” Silver said.
“I think this is the path we’ve consistently followed. There’s an ongoing criminal investigation — Newport Police opened up that investigation, notified us — we then take a back seat. And that’s where things currently stand. That’s where things currently stand.”
On Saturday, Silver was asked about the situation again.
— Robert Littal BSO (@BSO) December 10, 2023
“When there’s a parallel criminal investigation, we do take a backseat to the criminal, criminal investigation,” Silver said.
“Part of it is just even for a defense lawyer who’s representing a player, understandably protecting that player’s rights and protecting that player in a, in a criminal context, that’s their job to do that, that they don’t want to waive certain rights by having the player in the first instance, talk to the league.
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“So we generally, we will work with law enforcement to the extent they’ll share with us the information they have. We can learn from that,” he continued.
“We gather whatever information is available to us that, in working, you know, alongside with a police department, in this case, or a DA, as long as they say we’re not interfering with their investigation, we do what we can at the same time. But generally, we fall in behind any criminal investigation and then go from there.”
So there you have it. Because the matter surrounding Giddey is legal, Silver feels the need to wait it out until the investigation is complete. In Irving’s case, it was entirely subjective – which gave the NBA commissioner full authority to levy a punishment as he saw fit.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.