VIDEO: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander swaps jerseys with cousin Nickeil Alexander-Walker after Thunder-Pelicans game
It’s always special when family members play together in the NBA. This time, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gets his turn at seeing a relative start his NBA career, as the Oklahoma City Thunder stopped a New Orleans Pelicans squad that had his cousin, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, in the lineup.
The two exchanged jerseys after Gilgeous-Alexander’s Thunder won by 11 points. The league captured the tender moment between the cousins, who both grew up dreaming of playing in the biggest professional basketball league in the world.
— NBA (@NBA) November 2, 2019
It’s nice to see the two etch their spot in the league. However, their situations could never be any more different.
Shai is the rising star for a rebuilding Oklahoma City squad. They’re under no pressure to succeed after ending the franchise’s Russell Westbrook era last season. However, it’s no secret that he’s expected to thrive as the team’s next leading man. His debut performance against the Dallas Mavericks got plenty of fans excited for what’s in store.
One of the reasons why Thunder fans are okay with the team losing is so that CP3 can teach the young point guard the tools of the trade and become the man who’ll carry the franchise forward. They want Gilgeouos-Alexander to succeed, and OKC is ready to provide him the environment to do so.
Meanwhile, Alexander-Walker is expected to develop into a solid scoring guard for the Pelicans. The bright lights will all be on Zion Williamson, but his ability to score and make the right pass is something New Orleans wants on their team.
These are exciting times for the Alexander family, and they hope their two stars go on to have long and successful careers in the NBA.