Chet Holmgren Praises SGA for Not ‘Reigning Like’ Kobe Bryant and Taking Away Shoes

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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.

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.

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