Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is prepared to make his own way in Oklahoma City.
Gilgeous-Alexander was acquired in the trade that sent former Thunder star Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers. Gilgeous-Alexander met with media Thursday, and per Erik Horne of The Oklahoman, he spoke about how former Thunder guard Russell Westbrook made a legacy in Oklahoma City.
But Gilgeous-Alexander also acknowledged that he’s focused on playing to his strengths with his new team.
I am not Russell Westbrook. I do not have the same name, same body type, stuff like that. So, I’m just going to try to be myself and be the best me and everything else will take care of itself.
Coming off his rookie season, Gilgeous-Alexander is still working to create his own identity in the NBA. He’s not as athletic or explosive as Westbrook. But, his ability to weave through defenses with his dribbling, along with his shooting ability, make him a solid guard in the league.
Last season Gilgeous-Alexander shot 36.7 percent from the three-point line. That percentage was better than any of Westbrook’s three-point percentages during his 11-year career.
Along with his abilities on offense, Gilgeous-Alexander has good awareness on defense as well. He’s alert and puts himself in position for steals as a result. Last season, he totaled 96 steals and ranked second among rookies in the category.
With Gilgeous-Alexander heading into his second season, it’ll be interesting to see how he fits with Chris Paul — who has already taught the sophomore guard a few things.
As one of the best guards in league history, Paul is in a position to mentor Gilgeous-Alexander. And with his skill set, there’s potential for Gilgeous-Alexander to be one of the best guards in the league relatively soon.