Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was elected by the fans, his peers, and media members Thursday night to be a starter in the 2024 NBA All-Star game. 2024 will see the return of the East vs West tradition for the All-Star game opposed to captains picking teams. SGA was selected to represent the West alongside Luka Doncic, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Nikola Jokic. The star studded team will take on two Milwaukee Bucks as both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard will be starters this year for the East. Tyrese Haliburton, Jayson Tatum, and Joel Embiid were also selected as starters.
Previous Oklahoma City Thunder All-Stars
You have to go back to 2019 to find the last all-star starter in a thunder jersey, and it was worn by Paul George. Before him, the likes of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had honors of starting for the team as well. Kevin Durant won his first All-Star Game MVP in 2012 while he was still a member of the Thunder. Durant was able to score 36 points that night.
Westbrook took home back to back NBA All-Star Game MVPs in 2015 and 2016. In 2015 Russ came off the bench and scored a game high 41 points helping lead the West to a 163 to 158 victory over the East. 2016 would bring much of the same except this year Westbrook would not come off the bench as he was named a starter. His team high 31 points would lead to a 23 point West victory in a game they scored 196 points. Chris Paul is the only other person to receive an all-star selection while a member of Oklahoma City. He did so in the 2020 NBA season.
What Led To Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Becoming A Starter In The All-Star Game?
𝑬𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒌 ⭐ pic.twitter.com/W5JphibdwT
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 26, 2024
With the 2024 NBA All-Star game set to take place from Indianapolis February 18th, the NBA season is reaching the halfway point. Leading into the break, Shai has the Thunder battling for a top spot in the West. When you take a look at his numbers, its easy to see why the fans, media, and his peers chose him as a starter for the West this year. The sixth year guard out of the University of Kentucky is on pace for multiple career highs. Currently he is averaging an astonishing 31.1 points per game which is good for 4th in the league. To go along with the elite scoring, he is averaging over 5.5 rebounds per game, while dishing out 6.4 assist.
There are 3 things that stick out to me about SGA and the season he is having. The first is a given and is his elite scoring. Not only is he scoring at a high level, he’s one of the most efficient guards in the league with a field goal percentage of 54.6%. Last but not least with everything I have said about his offense, he still has enough in the tank to bring it on the other end as well. Oklahoma City has a top rated defense by most metrics, and Shai is averaging over 2 steals per game. Catch the Thunder in action later tonight as they travel to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans.
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