The Oklahoma City Thunder have enjoyed watching Shai Gilgeous-Alexander turn into a bonafide NBA Superstar. A year ago, the expectation for Gilgeous-Alexander was to crack his first All-Star team; he not only did that but earned first-team All-NBA honors and finished fifth in MVP voting.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the OKC Thunder to a 16-win improvement with a historically young roster and earned a trip to the postseason. Gilgeous-Alexander knocked off the Pelicans on the road in the first NBA Play-in tournament game before falling in Minnesota to finish a game shy of the NBA Playoffs.
NBA Veteran praises Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, tabbing him as a future MVP while detailing a funny story about their past matchups.
Oklahoma City has one of the best young cores in the entire NBA, and with the core four of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren finally set to take the court together, the Thunder are still tabbed as one of the league’s biggest breakout teams despite their already 16-win improvement a year ago.
The hype does not stop with fans; it goes to media, front-office executives, and current and former players. Danny Green joined Theo Pinson on the Run Your Race podcast. Pinson has asked all his guests, “Who has the deeper bag, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Luka Doncic?” all summer.
Danny Green said, “I had a rude awakening with Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander] one time…I was with Toronto [Raptors], I should have made All-Defensive team, I am like alright let me show [him], I picked Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander] up full court.”
As Pinson and company began to laugh, Green continued, “It was a bad idea this [expletive] was moving fast, and I was fast enough, but I did not realize [Shai Gilgeous-Alexander] had the shoulder like that he gave me a big shoulder, stopped on a dime, behind the back and paused. His shot is funky, so you do not believe in it, but it is cash.” Green explained.
After a few baskets, the then Raptors defensive ace said, “Let me pick this [expletive] up full court, let me see what he is really about, he sprinted, shouldered me real bad, hit the mid-range, I contested it as best I could, [expletive] was cash…All I heard was ‘Bust his [expletive], Shai!’ I think it was Avery Bradley, and so I realized it wasn’t a shock [to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s Clipper teammates]…I am like, he does this. Let me not pick him up full court next time…Yeah, he is for real.”
Danny Green is a three-time NBA Champion and earned All-Defensive honors in the 2016-17 season, with many more years where he could have been given such recognition. Green understands what it is like to defend the best of the best in this league, so his praise for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander goes a bit further.
Danny Green went on to say Shai Gilgeous-Alexander not only has a “deeper bag” than Luka Doncic, but Gilgeous-Alexander has a “Really strong case” to win a Most Valuable Player award someday.