Chet Holmgren Praises SGA for Not ‘Reigning Like’ Kobe Bryant and Taking Away Shoes | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 9:  Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder & Chet Holmgren #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder high five during the game  against the Dallas Mavericks during Round 2 Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Playoffs  on May 9, 2024 at Paycom Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has emerged as a top player in the NBA, finishing second in MVP voting and leading his team to the top seed in the Western Conference.

But according to his teammate Chet Holmgren, he’s “super chill” and sees himself as equal to the rest of his squad. Per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, Holmgren referenced an iconic Kobe Bryant story to explain how Gilgeous-Alexander differs from other NBA greats.

“He’s super chill,” Holmgren said. “Usually it’s just kind of talking us through mistakes. He’s not in here reigning like Kobe (Bryant) was. He’s not the type of guy who’d take his (signature) shoes away because he doesn’t want us wearing them. That’s not him.”

According to Slater, Holmgren was referring to a story he heard on a podcast about Bryant taking away his teammates’ shoes after an embarrassing loss. On The Big Podcast, former Los Angeles Laker Lou Williams said Bryant didn’t want his teammates wearing his signature shoes anymore following a bad performance.

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While that kind of leadership boded well in Los Angeles as the Lakers won five championships during Bryant’s tenure, Gilgeous-Alexander’s more relaxed approach has led to an outstanding year from a young Thunder team.

Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds and two steals during the regular season as Oklahoma City went 57-25 to claim the top seed in the West. His outstanding play has carried into the postseason as he put up 27.3 points per game in a first-round sweep against the New Orleans Pelicans and is averaging 31.4 points against the Dallas Mavericks in the ongoing conference semifinals.

Behind Gilgeous-Alexander’s leadership, the Thunder won their first playoff series since Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City to the Western Conference finals in 2016. The Thunder now are down 3-2 in the series against the Mavericks but will look to force a Game 7 on Saturday.

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