Brian Windhorst and a team of Sportzshala insiders dig into life and news from and around the NBA world, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s rise in the league, Spencer Dinwiddie’s fit in Dallas, CJ McCollum’s approach to the All-Star Game, and the context of inflated stats. .

Last week, after his team won on the road for the first time in more than a month, Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeus-Alexander was asked about his patience with the franchise rebuilding project.

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It was a decoy question that reporters have been asking the stars of small-market teams for decades and will likely ask for decades to come. In most cases, the answers are superficial, except in rare situations. At times like these, profound statements can be made. That’s why the media is asking – just to verify.

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Gilges-Alexander gave such a profound answer Thursday night in Philadelphia.

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“I think we’re going to be a really good team much sooner than people think, so I think it’s pretty easy for me. [to be patient]”, he said. “I see growth every day. I see growth over the past five months, a year, two years, and I’m very excited about it.”

Gilges-Alexander scored 37 points that night, including a brilliant 16-of-16 on the fall line, as the Thunder thrashed the newly hot Philadelphia 76ers 133-114 to a landslide victory. They then won in Chicago and Brooklyn to end a 3-1 trip to the Eastern Conference that garnered some attention as their young talent continues to flourish.

It was a crystallized comment from the SGA, his initials-only moniker is now pretty much entrenched in the NBA lexicon considering he’s averaging 31 points per game these days, which seemed to undo any lingering speculation about his involvement. in terms of Thunder. .

Having an elite player is vital – you either have it or spend every day trying to get it – but it rarely works unless that player is fully bought. on the cusp of becoming a legitimate superstar, and soon his first All-Star appearance. So it’s not a useless position for him.