Khris Middleton and Rudy Gobert Join Fellow G League Alum Siakam As NBA All-Stars

By Keith Schlosser | January 30, 2020

When Pascal Siakam heads to Chicago for NBA All-Star Weekend, he’ll represent the NBA G League as the first alum to start in an All-Star Game. Accomplishing this special feat presents him with the opportunity to reflect upon how far he’s come in such a very short time.

As fate would have it, should Siakam strike up the urge to discuss the grit and grind of the NBA G League, he’ll have a couple of familiar faces who can compare minor league war stories alongside him.

Khris Middleton (Bucks) and Rudy Gobert (Jazz) have been named NBA All-Star reserves, providing Siakam with some very exciting (and well deserving) company. It’s a luxury that the two-time all-star Middleton, who last season became the first alum to be named an all-star (reserve), did not have when his selection marked a milestone of its own for the NBA G League.

With an all-time high 42% of NBA players on opening night rosters boasting NBA G League experience this season, it comes as much less of a surprise that a high of three players with such roots will participate in the special midseason event. NBA G League alums are scattered across the NBA, playing key roles and getting the chance to shine at the next level. This most recent honor for Siakam, Middleton, and Gobert proves that barriers can be broken and that there’s a new threshold for the caliber of NBA G League talent. The ceiling for how far they can go (and perhaps, what their minor league experience can help prepare them for) continues to rise.

Of course, Siakam stands tall as an NBA G League champion and 2017 NBA G League Finals MVP. While patiently waiting for increased playing time of his own up in the NBA, Middleton remained humble and played in three games for the Mad Ants back in 2012-13, averaging 11 points per contest. This season, he owns offensive career-highs across the board, averaging 20.2 points while shooting 50.3% from the field. Similarly, the Jazz assigned Gobert to the Bakersfield Jam in 2013-14 to help provide him with some extra seasoning. In eight games, the big man foreshadowed his subsequent NBA success that has followed, averaging 13.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game. Two Defensive Player of the Year awards later, the alum will make his first NBA All-Star Team while averaging 15.7 points, 14.6 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game for Utah.

The chance for NBA G League alums to make big time impacts in the NBA is more obtainable than ever before. The likes of Siakam, Middleton, and Gobert prove that accomplishing some of the greatest feats remain fully in focus, even for those that conquer the twists and turns of the NBA G League.

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