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“Shai better be starting in the damn All-Star game” – Charles Barkley expects Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to be a front-runner for All-Star game

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets
NBA analyst demands that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander be a starter during the 2023 All-Star game

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has caught the eyes of many, including Charles Barkley. Barkey has been super impressed with the youngster and has demanded that he starts the 2023 NBA All-Star game.

The "NBA on TNT" panelist is not shy to say exactly how he feels. He has often heavily criticized players for their performance.

However, he is one of the many who is pleased with the OKC Thunder guard's performance. Given how the Kentucky product has played this season, it is hard to imagine anyone will have anything but nice things to say.

On Bleacher Report's "Taylor Rooks X," Barkley said:

"Let me tell you something right now: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander better be starting in the damn All-Star game this year. I'm saying that right now."
Does SGA deserve to start in this year’s All-Star game? 👀 https://t.co/urxNERiYTC

If Gilgeous-Alexander makes the All-Star roster, it will be the first of his five-year career. Although he has been a high-level scorer, injuries have hampered his career.

Regardless, Gilgeous-Alexander has elevated his game to an unreal level and is having a ball on the court. He is also one of the favorites to win the 2022-23 Most Improved Player award.

You might also like: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's breakout season lauded by NBA analyst: "SGA, simply put, should probably start the All-Star Game"


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the OKC Thunder are starting to struggle

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the OKC Thunder shoots as Garrett Temple of the New Orleans Pelicans defends.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the OKC Thunder shoots as Garrett Temple of the New Orleans Pelicans defends.

With Gilgeous-Alexander leading the charge, OKC had a hot start to the season, winning four of their first seven games. However, they have since fallen off and are starting to pile on the losses.

OKC (8-13) currently sits 12th in the Western Conference standings. While it's not a great spot, not many had high hopes for the Thunder entering the season, especially after losing rookie sensation Chet Holmgren before he made his debut.

Meanwhile, Gilgeous-Alexander has been on a tear. He is currently the third-best scorer in the league behind Luka Doncic and Steph Curry.

The Kentucky product is averaging 31.1 points, 6.1 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks. He is also shooting 50.6%.

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Unfortunately for him, the Canadian is currently on the injury report with a hip problem. He took a pretty hard fall in their 105-101 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. Although it does not feel like he will be sidelined for an extended period, perhaps a rest is due after logging in 35.8 minutes in 20 appearances.

OKC will go in search of their ninth win against the San Antonio Spurs without Gilgeous-Alexander on Wednesday. Although he was listed as questionable, he was ruled out a few hours before tip-off.

You might also like: “He’s in the conversation right now with guys like Luka, Jokic, Embiid” – NBA analyst believes Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's performance has leveled him with MVP contenders

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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