For the last few seasons, JaVale McGee has become someone who has been more known for his comedic value on the basketball court more than his actual play, something he is surely not proud of.
He is a two-time season MVP of Shaqtin’ A Fool, Shaquille O’Neal’s weekly clips of the funniest player errors and moments from the previous seven days during TNT’s Inside The NBA show, where his blunders were on display regularly.
But since leaving the Denver Nuggets in 2015, McGee has been trying to move on from his past blunders to focus more on his play on the court, after playing 34 games for the Dallas Mavericks last season.
He was signed to the Golden State Warriors for training camp in September, and has been trying to impress head coach Steve Kerr with the aim of gaining a full roster spot for the season.
It sounds unlikely for someone who has never been a sustainably high quality player, but McGee can provide something that the Warriors are lacking at this point in time, rim-protection.
With Andrew Bogut leaving for Dallas this summer and Zaza Pachulia joining in return, the Warriors lost a lot of height and athleticism at the center position, something McGee can certainly provide, and with the array of attacking weapons Golden State possess he would not be required to contribute hugely on the offensive end.
His chances may also have been boosted by the praise lavished upon him by Andre Iguodala on Sunday, who told ESPN’s Ethan Strauss: “Talk to some different people, GMs, front office people. He’s so much better than a lot of these guys who got paid this past year. So much better.”
“Shaqtin’ A Fool has given him a very bad label, but his basketball IQ is really high,” Iguodala added.
High praise indeed, and coming from one of Steve Kerr’s most trusted players, with Kerr being someone who likes people who think well on the court, this could certainly be a good sign for McGee if he continues to work hard with the Warriors.