First All-Star Voting Results show fans still overvaluing veteran stars at the expense of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

The OKC Thunder have seen Shai Gilgeous-Alexander check in third for Western Conference Guards in the first All-Star fan vote returns.
Nov 22, 2023; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2)
Nov 22, 2023; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder have enjoyed Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's superstar leap. A year ago, the max contract point guard became a 30-point-per-game scorer to go along with four rebounds, nearly five assists, and 2.6 STOCKS per game.

Gilgeous-Alexander was also wildly efficient, turning in shooting splits of 51/34/90 as the go-to option for the OKC Thunder, who surprisingly surged their way into the postseason on the back of a 40-win season.

This led the Kentucky product to earn his first trip to the NBA All-Star game while grabbing a first-team All-NBA spot and finishing fifth in MVP voting. There was no disputing how dominant Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was a year ago, and he carried it into the Summer at the FIBA World Cup.

Fast forward to the present day, and not only has Gilgeous-Alexander not slowed down, but he has somehow gotten even better.

First NBA All-Star Fan Vote returns show NBA fans are still overvaluing veteran stars at the expense of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Through his first 32 games this season, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 31 points, five rebounds, six assists, a league-best 2.5 steals, and nearly a block per game while still shooting 54 percent from the floor, 34 percent from distance, and 90 percent at the charity stripe.

This is combined with fixing the one knock on Gilgeous-Alexander's previous All-Star campaigns: Team success. The OKC Thunder superstar has led the Thunder to the second-best record in the Western Conference (20-10) while knocking off the Nuggets Twice, the Celtics, and the Timberwolves since voting opened.

Still, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's body of work was not enough to overcome Steph Curry's popularity. The Thunder star finished 428,053 votes behind the NBA legend.

While fan voting only counts for 50 percent of All-Star voting (the NBA players and media will get there 25 percent each later), it is still baffling to see the fans give Curry a lifetime achievement award.

Steph Curry has played in 31 games to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's 32, with Gilgeous-Alexander being a +3.6 in points per game, a +1.5 in rebounds per game, a +1.8 in assists per game, a +1.7 in steals per game, a +0.4 in blocks per game, and nine percentage points better from the floor.

In the midst of this season, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is 2-0 against Steph Curry (with the Thunder taking the season series 3-1, but each star missed a matchup), Gilgeous-Alexander is a +4.7 in BPM and a +1.4 in VORP over Curry.

This is clearly just a popularity contest, and is the major flaw is fan voting across all sports, but with Gilgeous-Alexander vying for the MVP award this season, to rank third among guards in All-Star voting is mind blowing.

Ultimately, if OKC Thunder fans can keep Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in this range, the players and media will assuredly give him the rightful boost to start the All-Star game in Indiana in mid-February. In the meantime, fan voting remains a fun but flawed exercise.

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