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Charles Barkley: ‘If Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is not starting in the All-Star Game, we’re not gonna let the public vote again’

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Charles Barkley - 'If Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is not starting in the All-Star Game, we're not gonna let the public vote again'
USA Today Network

During Tuesday night’s episode of NBA on TNT, retired Hall of Famer Charles Barkley praised Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander by calling out All-Star voters.

“If Shai Gilchrist,” said Barkley by accident as the rest of the panel broke down laughing. “If Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is not starting in the All-Star Game, we’re not gonna let the public vote again. He should be starting at the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference, easily.”

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Thunder guard is the top favorite to win Most Improved Player of the Year in 2023. Some sportsbooks have Lauri Markkanen and Tyrese Haliburton in the top three. For the comment, go to the 7:50 mark in the YouTube video below.

Of course, many NBA fans would agree with Charles Barkley this time. Through 20 starts this season, the Thunder guard is averaging career highs of 31.1 points, 6.1 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.2 blocks.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic recorded his 14th 30-point game this season in a 116-113 win over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, SGA leads the league right now with 15 games of 30-plus points.

Charles Barkley says the public should never vote again, if Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is not starting in the All-Star Game

In addition to logging 4.9 rebounds per game, Gilgeous-Alexander is also shooting 50.6% from the field and 33.9% from three-point range. While his true shooting percentage dropped to 61.3%, he’s still posting a career-best player efficiency rating of 27.9.

Last Wednesday, in the Thunder’s 131-126 loss to the Denver Nuggets, the guard recorded his first double-double of the season. He amassed 31 points and 11 rebounds in 43 minutes of action.

On Nov. 16, in Oklahoma City’s 121-120 win against the Washington Wizards, the fifth-year player scored a season-high 42 points in 35 minutes. He finished 14-of-22 (63.6%) shooting from the field and 2-of-3 (66.7%) from downtown. Charles Barkley was blown away by this particular performance.

Moreover, the Kentucky product currently leads the NBA in two-point field goal attempts (363) and free throws (170). Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant overtook Gilgeous-Alexander for made two-point field goals (197). However, the Thunder guard trails the two-time Finals MVP by just three baskets.

Equally important, Gilgeous-Alexander ranks fourth in points (621), sixth in usage percentage (33.1%), seventh in steals (34), 18th in blocks (24), and third in field goals (215).

Indeed, maybe Charles Barkley is right about fan voting. If the public gets this one wrong, the league might decide to reconsider their method of voting.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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