The Oklahoma City Thunder’s rebuild is beginning to make some serious strides. They have amassed a ton of draft picks over the past few years, and they are beginning to turn those picks into talented young players that seem destined to lead them to greatness. Even though they likely won’t end up in the playoffs again this season, it’s tough not to be encouraged with what we have seen from OKC this season.
Barkley offers a hilarious take on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s All-Star campaign
A big reason for the Thunder’s success this season has been due to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA has become the face of Oklahoma City’s rebuild, and he has been on an absolute tear for them to start the season. It’s not a stretch to say that Gilgeous-Alexander’s numbers (31.1 PPG, 6.1 APG, 4.9 RPG, 50.6 FG%) put him among the top 10 best players in the league so far this season.
The rest of the league has noted SGA’s superstar performances, including TNT’s Inside the NBA crew. The group marveled at Gilgeous-Alexander’s strong play early on before Charles Barkley gave a short yet passionate plea for why he should be an All-Star starter. The problem was that Barkley didn’t know Gilgeous-Alexander’s name, referring to him as Shai Alexander Gilchrist before finally getting his point across.
Should Shai Gilgeous-Alexander be an All-Star starter this season?
Barkley’s mistake was quite hilarious, but it also showed that SGA is beginning to draw All-Star consideration, and rightfully so. Before this season, Gilgeous-Alexander had been a strong scorer, but nobody could have realistically seen this jump in play coming from him. Barkley finished his plea for SGA to earn All-Star recognition by saying the league would have to strip the public of the right to vote for All-Stars if he didn’t end up being selected as a starter.
That’s nice and all, but is Gilgeous-Alexander actually worthy of being an All-Star starter? The answer to that question is a loud and definitive “yes.” Gilgeous-Alexander has been single-handedly powering the Thunder’s offense, and his 31.1 points per game come in behind just Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry right now. There aren’t many players who have been better than SGA early on this season.
Barkley’s point may have come out in a humorous way, but it still stands. Gilgeous-Alexander has been an absolute monster early on this season, and just because it’s not necessarily leading to consistent wins doesn’t mean it should be held against him when it comes to All-Star voting. If this keeps up, there will be no way to deny SGA a spot in the All-Star game as a starter.