Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on NBA MVP: ‘I Hope I Get It, Yes’

The Oklahoma City Thunder surprised the NBA by finishing with the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and now All-Star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is hoping for another accolade.

NBA, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

That would be none other than NBA MVP.

“I hope I get it, yes,” Gilgeous-Alexander said, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “I think all the guys are deserving, all have their case. Whatever happens, happens. But whoever gets it is deserving for sure.” 

The Thunder (57-25) secured the tiebreaker over the defending champion Denver Nuggets (57-25) to gain the top seed, finishing one win better than the third-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves (56-26).

Gilgeous-Alexander had a stellar regular season for the Thunder. The two-time All-Star is averaging 30.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting 53.6% from the field, 35.8% from beyond the arc and 87.3% from the free-throw line. 

During a February interview with MacMahon, Gilgeous-Alexander admitted that he used the Los Angeles Clippers trading him to the Thunder for Paul George as “motivation” to become a superstar.

The Clippers traded Gilgeous-Alexander and a bevy of draft picks to the Thunder for George in July 2019. 

“I didn’t see it coming,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “I’m not like, ‘Why would you do that?’ It made sense. I think Paul just came off like an MVP-caliber year. … I used it a little bit as motivation just to get better and really turn myself into that caliber of player.”

The Thunder haven’t made the NBA Finals since 2012. Kevin DurantRussell Westbrook and James Harden lost to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in those Finals in five games. 

“Every day we come to work the same way,” Gilgeous-Alexander said in January. “I think we all stay in the moment, and I think that’s why we’ve been able to get better. We just stay in the moment, attack the day, attack the program in front of us.” 

Ashish Mathur contributed to this report.

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