If the Oklahoma City Thunder were a contender or even a fringe playoff team, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be in the NBA All-Star game. Since they aren’t, names like Klay Thompson, Donovan Mitchell, and Devin Booker are going to get in over him. Due to his name not carrying as much weight, being buried in the third smallest market in the NBA, names like Anthony Edwards, Russell Westbrook, and Damian Lillard will be called over his.
This isn’t me saying that SGA should get in over that entire list I just presented, but I am saying that he’s undoubtedly a top 10 guard in the NBA’s Western Conference.
OKC’s star averages 22.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game on 42.2 percent shooting from the field, which is down from last season, but still impressive, given the team that’s around him (no disrespect to the young guns on the Thunder).
That’s why I’ve mentioned a few times now, that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is an all-star caliber player in the NBA, without a doubt, but will he be in the NBA All-Star game? No. He’s not in the top 10 in voting.
Western Conference All-Star fan voting (Backcourt)
- Steph Curry
- Ja Morant
- Luka Doncic
- Klay Thompson
- Devin Booker
- Russell Westbrook
- Chris Paul
- Donovan Mitchell
- Damian Lillard
- Anthony Edwards
There’s no argument that Shai’s behind Steph, Ja, and Luka. They’re killing it this year, and so are their teams. Based on what we’ve seen this season, Shai’s performance has overshadowed Klay’s small body of work. Again, based on this season, Shai, Devin Booker, Anthony Edwards, and Russell Westbrook (who’s having a down season) are looking each other eye-to-eye, and I’ll make the argument that SGA’s been better than Chris Paul and Damian Lillard.
Whether you agree with my comparisons or not, I believe 90 percent of the people reading this article can agree that SGA is a top 10 guard in the Western Conference. Should there be a change in the way NBA all-stars are selected? Should team success play a part in the selection or should the best players be chosen by the NBA, thus disregarding what the fans think?
My answer? I have no clue what should be done. I’m tied somewhere between this being an entertainment industry, so it should be geared towards the fans, and the fact that most of the best players in the NBA are the players the fans like anyway, so let’s leave it up to the experts. There’s been a few hot, popular names left out that the fans would want to see. I think an All-Star game with Steph, Ja Morant, Lika Doncic, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and other perennial all-stars would draw the same excitement from the fans.
Regardless, Shai is in his fourth NBA season and has a lot of basketball life ahead of him. He’ll make plenty of All-Star games, and as the Thunder gets better, his name will become more universally known.