Thunder coach Billy Donovan ‘happy’ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander struggled vs. Pelicans
Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 10 points, one rebound, three assists and two steals on 31 percent shooting. It was a terrible shooting night for him, but the team managed to pull it all together and make a comeback to snatch the win from the Pelicans’ clutches.
While head coach Billy Donovan would have liked this game to be more certain, he admitted that he’s happy Gilgeous-Alexander struggled during the contest.
Donovan, however, clarified his stance before bewildered Thunder fans complain about his comments.
“I don’t mean this the way it’s gonna come across,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said, via The Oklahoman’s Joe Mussatto. “I’m happy he struggled.”
“There are people that have what I call surface confidence, and deep confidence,” Donovan said. “And I think when you go through struggles, you find out what kind of confidence you have in yourself. Are you confident because you make shots? To me that would be just on the surface because shots are gonna come and go.”
Gilgeous-Alexander is having a fantastic start to his career with the Thunder. He’s averaging 18.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists on a 44.6 percent shooting clip.
For Donovan, however, it’s important that Shai experiences struggle in order to become a much better player. Having confidence in yourself in spite of the poor performances you’re having is paramount to having a fantastic career as a franchise piece.
There are already big expectations for SAG: Thunder fans want him to lead the team, and opposing coaches think he’s going to be a star. He needs to develop that mental fortitude, so it’s great for OKC in the long run that he is experiencing some downs in his career.