Shai Gilgeous-Alexander enters health and safety protocols

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder have placed superstar guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander into the NBA’s Health and Safety protocols. Gilgeous-Alexander represents the first member of the OKC Thunder to enter Health and Safety Protocols.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has missed the last two games, now going on three straight games missed, dealing with ankle soreness, a hip flexor that was clarified to be an abdominal strain, and now entering the Health and Safety protocols. All while the Thunder are in the midst of a three-game losing streak and sitting a game out of the play-in tournament and three games out of the sixth-worst record in the NBA.

The Oklahoma City Thunder place Shai Gilgeous-Alexander into the league’s health and safety protocols but take into account this situation.

After the OKC Thunder fell to the Utah Jazz in overtime after a buzzer-beating bank shot by SGA did not fall in, the Thunder all-star has not played in a game since. Given that it was their first game out of the All-Star break and how important that matchup factored into the standings, the national media has run wild with speculation of the Thunder “tanking.”

That is where you can fall into trouble, as consumers, to believe that narrative. The Oklahoma City Thunder are not tanking and purposely sitting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to better than lottery odds as the 24-year-old chases an All-NBA season. The team is still within reach of a postseason bid.

This is just standard operating procedures; it is life in the NBA; name me, the playoff team who has not had to deal with significant injuries at some point in the season—Devin Booker, Steph Curry, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, etc. Every team takes their turn with the injury bug to their best player, some can survive it, and some can not.

While I understand the need for a cheap laugh or meme and do not have a problem with using social media platforms in that way, it is also important to remind everyone that narrative is, in fact, a joke.

The Oklahoma City Thunder lost Aleksej Pokusevski, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and, most importantly, Chet Holmgren for a significant time. In Holmgren’s case, the entire season, there were multiple chances for the Thunder to pull the plug on the season when facing down the barrel of a historic 2023 NBA Draft class, which is deeper than just Victor Wembanyama.

We will see how long Gilgeous-Alexander needs to remain in health and safety protocols, but for now, he is ruled out against the Kings on Tuesday, and the OKC Thunder take on the Lakers on Wednesday for the second night of a back-to-back.

That would be a quick turnaround for the first-year All-Star, with the Thunder playing a pivotal game against the Jazz on Friday. We will keep you posted here at Thunderous Intentions for the latest updates on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

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