Eclipsing Steph Curry and More, Shaquille O’Neal Lauds OKC Superstar Shai Gilgeous Alexander for Major NBA All-Star Achievement

Published 01/25/2024, 7:31 PM EST

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Every year, the NBA All-Star starter announcements shock people. While a host of the expected names make it to the game, every season brings us a few shockers. This year is no different with the “snub” belonging to Stephen Curry. Even though Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is firmly in the MVP discussion, no one was predicting such a turn of events before the season began. Certainly not Shaquille O’Neal. However, the big man isn’t opposed to his elevation on the list.

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Well-deserved. I’m happy for him. True definition of hard work pays off. Very herky-jerky type of player. Very hard to guard. But I’m happy for him.” However, despite the surprise factor, according to the Los Angeles Lakers legend, the names on the list make perfect sense.

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Both East and West selections – can’t be mad about. Every year, subjective of – he should have been, he shouldn’t have been. I’m not mad at the East or the West Starting 5.” So, the 4x NBA Champion has no issues with Shai’s surprise elevation.

Just a few short weeks ago, the big man was ready to crown Alexander the best guard in the league. So, to him, the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar isn’t that far behind the game’s best. Moreover, the big man even had him ahead of perennial MVP contender, Luka Doncic.

Watch This Story: Who Has Reached 10,000 Career Points Faster Than Luka Doncic?

But, is Shai better than Luka?

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Shaquille O’Neal started the SGA vs Luka debate

For their careers, there isn’t a debate between the two. While the man with the best Instagram captions has exceeded expectations, Doncic has been on a different level. By year 3, the Slovenian was in discussions for the Best Player in the World. Moreover, a dearth of playoff experience, all mind-numbingly brilliant, has further given him a leg up from the competition.

However, looking at this season in a vacuum, the choice between the two is far closer than imaginable. For the year, both have pretty similar numbers in every category, although Luka Magic leads SGA in points, rebounds, and assists. But, where Gilgeous-Alexander makes up for that gap is on the defensive end. Given the Dallas Mavericks superstar’s deficiency on that end, Shai has been easily able to surpass him as a defender.

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Further, he finds his team looking below at Dallas with the #2 seed firmly in their grasp. Could the argument by O’Neal be a valid one?

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Written by:

Priyanshu

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My earliest memories of a connection to basketball was through its popularity in my school. Eventually, that gave way to a genuine passion for the sport and the rest, is history. Whether it be gameplay, the tactics, the narratives, or the sheer art on display, the game speaks to me in a way few other things can.
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Edited by:

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