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OKC Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ready to return

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sat in an office at the Thunder's practice facility Wednesday, the first day of mandatory individual workouts. 

He looked happy in the familiar surroundings. 

"Honestly, I just wanted to get back to playing basketball," Gilgeous-Alexander said in a video conference. "For me, there was no second guess at all. I'm a hooper. I love to hoop. Not to say that the guys that don't want to play aren't, but for me I just knew I wanted to play basketball as soon as possible." 

A handful of players across the NBA have opted out of playing in the bubble at Disney World, but Thunder coach Billy Donovan confirmed Wednesday that all 17 of his players are in Oklahoma City and participating in workouts. 

"We'll see what it looks like in terms of traveling party and all those kind of things here coming into next week," Donovan said, "but our guys have been very, very active in terms of utilizing the opportunity to come into the facility." 

Players had to report back to their markets by June 22, but Donovan said some of his players returned well before that.  

"The opportunity to get back on the court is something that I think is important to all of them," Donovan said. 

The whole team isn't likely to be together until it flies to Disney World next Wednesday. Until then, players will participate in individual workouts with coaches. 

Gilgeous-Alexander said he lifted weights for about an hour Wednesday with a strength coach and then put up shots for another hour with a coach rebounding for him. 

"It's not too much hanging around the facility," Gilgeous-Alexander said. "It's get in, get your work in, and get out." 

Related Photos
Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes past Houston's PJ Tucker (17) as James Harden (13) and Clint Capela (15) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes past Houston's PJ Tucker (17) as James Harden (13) and Clint Capela (15) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7bb31c458cafc679384648af5fbe00c9.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes past Houston's PJ Tucker (17) as James Harden (13) and Clint Capela (15) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes past Houston's PJ Tucker (17) as James Harden (13) and Clint Capela (15) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes past Houston's PJ Tucker (17) as James Harden (13) and Clint Capela (15) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-aa92496926334322f401a28c316c6a67.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) looks up during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. Oklahoma City won 118-112. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) looks up during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. Oklahoma City won 118-112. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) looks up during a timeout in an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. Oklahoma City won 118-112. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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