Phoenix Suns’ very own Kelly Oubre Jr., otherwise known as Tsunami Papi, is this years Most Waviest Player – bringing a level of allure and appeal to the Valley that cannot and should not go unnoticed.
You’ve seen him on almost every NBA highlight reel since week one. Be it with an emphatic dunk on the two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, or the soul-sucking, rim-rattlers on both Paul George and JaVale McGee. It might even be the late game 3s followed by an affectionate gesture to the crowd. Nobody can light it up with flair quite like the Phoenix Suns‘ very own, Tsunami Papi.
The Suns are two games out of the 8th seed, as an all-out seven-team brawl continues to engulf the Western Conference standings for a playoff spot. Injuries and suspensions have plagued the locker room. Luckily, the 24 year-old Oubre has managed to stay healthy this year after undergoing season-ending surgery on his thumb to end the 2018-2019 season.
But what makes the Tidal Poppa the Most Waviest Player of the season? Let’s take a further look at what Kelly brings to the Talking Sticks Resort Arena.
Oubre is sporting career highs in almost every category. He is shooting an impressive 46.0% from the field along with 35.6% from beyond the arc, averaging 18.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. In the month of January, he is averaging 22.3 point per game on 52.5% shooting, coupled with 6.8 boards and three 3s on seven attempts a game. Needless to say, he is exceeding far beyond the value of his two-year, $30M deal the Suns and Oubre agreed upon during the off-season. Thank you, Memphis Grizzlies, for being indecisive on which Brooks to give-up. We truly did find love in a hope[ful] place.
More majestic than any statistical category you could possibly conjure up via basketball-reference.com, is the flare and pizzazz that Kelly chauffeurs on-court to the Valley of the Sun. The five-year forward brings to Phoenix a certain level of showmanship that has not been present since the Nash-Marion-Stoudemire era.
With every shot made, each dunk he throws down, and every defensive stop he makes, Kelly adds appeal, charm, and charisma to his style of play. Could it be the blown kisses after each made 3 that garners the infatuation of the fans? Perhaps flexing and head-bobbing after the life-claiming posters? Better yet, it might be the rock-star lifestyle mosh pits orchestrated by the Wave God himself during the pre-game introductions. One thing is for certain, if the NBA gave an award for style of play – Kelly would be an early favorite to win the crown.
On an interview with The Jump, Wave mentioned he “is a competitor, at a high level,” and that he “plays with a chip on his shoulder in every game.” The Father of Monsoons goes on to explain that he is, “never malicious towards any other player, [he] respects everybody,” with his stare-downs and head nods and ultimately he is, “On the court trying to have fun.” We can surmise the boulder Kelly carries on his shoulders has certainly made the Phoenix Suns a lot more interesting to watch this season.
Kelly has a lot of heart, and a lot of razzle-dazzle in his arsenal. Every game the Suns have, Oubre Jr. brings the energy and is not shy to show it. It’s difficult to find any other player in the league that brings the same level of intensity that Kelly Oubre Jr. does – which is why I rank him this year’s Most Waviest Player.