Thunder: Mark Daigneault drops truth bomb on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's MVP case

Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls
Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The meteoric rise of the OKC Thunder from being a consistent lottery team to, now, a true title contender is something that has captivated audiences all season long, and the main catalyst in their astounding ascension up the standings has been franchise centerpiece, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Though already seen as a legitimate star in the association, as he was selected to last year's NBA All-Star game out in Salt Lake City, this 2023-24 version of SGA is one tailor-made to be written into the history books, as his brand of production is literally only comparable to that of Michael Jordan.

As a result, the Thunder centerpiece has been heavily in the running for this year's MVP award, as it's predominantly been a two-man race between him and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic for months now.

With just under a month remaining between now and regular season's end, there's truly no telling who will ultimately lay claim to the illustrious label.

However, no matter which way the voting turnout goes, Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault doesn't believe it would be a detractor to how well Gilgeous-Alexander has played, as the headman recently went on a tangent praising his guard's efforts both during this season and throughout his career through this point.

OKC Thunder coach talks Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's MVP race

"What he's done in his career to this point and what he's done for our team this season doesn't need to be validated by an award. It stands on its own two feet. If he wins it, great, and that's downstream of our team and him, but if he doesn't win it it doesn't take anything away from the impact that he's had or the player he's turned himself into. We're not really attached to those things."

Mark Daigneault

Daigneault would continue on to shout out his guard's defensive efforts and how he's "continually honed his efficiency" on both ends of the ball throughout his career, and further noted that "as the usage goes up, or as the points per game goes up, the efficiency doesn't drop" and that "he's not just collecting numbers."

As things currently stand, Jokic has a slight edge over SGA in the illustrious race, though there's still time for the Thunder star to take over the odds and bring the franchise their first MVP win since Russell Westbrook earned such honors back in 2017.

Through 66 games played, Gilgeous-Alexander is posting sensational all-around averages of 30.9 points, 6.3 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and just shy of a block while shooting 54.4 percent from the floor and 37.3 percent from distance.