Gilgeous-Alexander All-Star starting shaft highlights the need to change voting process

OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) is defended by Kings guard De'Aaron Fox: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) is defended by Kings guard De'Aaron Fox: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /
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OKC Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s resume speaks for itself

Shai is one of six players averaging over 30 points per game (four of them are starters). His field goal percentage of 51.1 percent is third on that list and trails only big men Antetokounmpo and Embiid who naturally have higher efficiency because they operate in the post.

He attempts fewer shots than the four starters with 30 points and his 3-point efficiency (36.1%) is second only to Damian Lillard.

We’ve already lost what used to be an amazing event in the dunk contest because superstars like LeBron refused to participate. Gone are the days when Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Vince Carter didn’t just say yes — they were dying to be a part of it.

With the uptick in social media too many superstars fear how it would impact their brand and platform if they enter and lost or worse -failed completely.

Who Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should start over

As for who I would personally push Shai ahead of to start it would be Steph. It’s a double-edged sword and a tough call for me. But the comparison of the two provides evidence for why SGA should’ve gotten the nod to start.

Gilgeous-Alexander has missed only four games this season compared to Steph’s 15. He’s scoring more per game and impacting winning on a club that everyone expected to be tanking.

His clutch time conversion isn’t even close in comparison to Curry — Shai wins that battle in a landslide.  As for the time missed, Curry didn’t just sit with the shoulder injury, Steve Kerr regularly elects to make him a healthy scratch in back-to-back games or copious games in a short time span.

On the other hand, of the very top stars, he’s also the player who blew the perimeter wide open and encouraged kids to believe anyone could play in the NBA.

But, ask yourself, isn’t it also possible that the silky smooth strides of Gilgeous-Alexander and how he floats on the court could open the minds of a new generation of players and fans? The problem is he needs to be seen so those casuals can fall in love with his game.

At the end of the day, it’s a moot point because Shai Gilgeous-Alexander WILL be selected as a reserve. How many minutes he’ll get is another question altogether.

Last year Ja Morant (18), Andrew Wiggins (11), and Fred VanVleet (9) were all first-time All-Stars and they received some of the lowest minute allocations.

Fingers crossed, that won’t be the case for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander because of all the players who’ll be in Utah, he’s the one who gets seen the least, appears in the fewest nationally televised games and isn’t a household name  — YET.

Hopefully, he’ll make a big impact in the big game and that leads to the NBA recognizing it’s time to feature the OKC Thunder in more nationally televised games. Shai put the work in this offseason and has conducted himself with grace and humility while patiently riding out the two tanking seasons.

He’s become one of the best young leaders in the association with his quiet assassin style of leadership. Without a doubt, SGA deserves all the accolades he’s receiving but now it’s time to share his talents with the broader NBA fan base so they too have an opportunity to fall in love with his incredible talent.

Of that fact, there is no debate!

Next. A cautionary tale for the OKC Thunder and developing teams. dark