Time For JaVale McGee To Grow Up | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Time For JaVale McGee To Grow Up

Updated: December 16, 2010

JaVale McGee, decent fellow. One day his basketball instinct will develop. It feels inevitable. But for now, you must relent to him only really getting by on his unimaginable athleticism, not his basketball brain power … although, that has made strides as well. Just slow, stubborn strides.

By now you’ve heard the hilariously earnest commentary about JaVale McGee from Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers:

“He potentially could be a really good player. I think he got to go to school a little bit more. He’s got to work on that IQ a little bit. He got to watch more tape. I don’t think he watches tape. I think he plays video games. I do. I don’t think he watches tape. I think he plays video games and I think he could possibly have an Atari. He should upgrade to a Play Station. Possibly Atari. He could potentially become a force, if, if he wants to. But if he doesn’t, he can continue to play Atari.”

McGee’s response via @MrMichaelLee was predictable:

“I don’t really care what people say. I know what I do, so it doesn’t affect me”

Artest is now a savvy, calculated veteran now. He used to be stupid, very stupid. More stupid than Gilbert Arenas and gun pranks stupid. Been there, done that … from Queensbridge and back.

But Ron-Ron’s opinion now holds considerable weight, and McGee should acknowledge that, perhaps be introspective and consider the fact that no one from the bottom to the top of the entire Monumental Sports & Entertainment organization will deny that while McGee has immense talent, he has not put in enough work to limit the same mistakes that he continues to make over and over.

Artest probably doesn’t know how much game tape watching and studying that McGee actually does, but JaVale is scouted by other teams, including the world champion Lakers — scouting reports Artest likely pays attention to, scouting reports that probably make it easy for another NBA player to deduce that McGee doesn’t have much of a clue.

Instead, this:

“Media loves starting confrontation…. That’s all lol …. P.s. Just signed with peak waiting on my shoe to come thru so I can jump higher” @bigdaddywookie

Jump higher? Wow. “Lol”

You think those shoes will help recognize the proper time to provide help-side defense? Or perhaps they will provide the ability to set a good screen for a teammate at a bare minimum?

“One of the main things too, [Nick Young] scored a lot, but I thought Seraphin got him open a lot with some screens, as did Book a few times. That’s the one thing we gotta work on JaVale with, his ability to get people open as far as on screens.” -Flip Saunders, Dec. 14, 2010

Booker and Seraphin are rookies. Before being drafted, Seraphin only played five seasons of organized basketball. On the other hand, McGee is in his third NBA season and grew up with a mother who played professional ball in the WNBA and abroad. Where are McGee’s basic fundamentals? Or is it all too clear that he mostly cares about style while remaining apathetic toward the substance of unselfish play. Setting a good screen is a simple, unselfish act. McGee can’t even do that right.

And wait … did McGee say confrontation? One player made an honest, goofy assessment about another player and word inevitably got out. Maybe feelings were hurt. Maybe someone needs a hug. But there’s only comedy in Artest’s words, not so much controversial confrontation.

McGee has done a lot of absurd things off the court which make it easy to draw conclusions of why he is such a mentally frustrating player on the court.

Another recent delve in that realm comes courtesy of JaVale via Twitter. Who would’ve thunk?

“at least im known as the guy who missed a dunk that no one is brave enough to try and not the guy that has a sextape out lol” @bigdaddywookie

A) Not sure who has a sex tape right now, could be anyone. Doesn’t matter. B) How does the line from a free-throw distance dunk attempt at the end of a 25-point blowout loss to the Kings to “bravery” get drawn? McGee’s concept of bravery seems more akin to a kid running with scissors through a shopping mall the week before Christmas.

Want more examples?

Well, there was that time McGee Tweeted this:

“Reporters who never played the game of basketball or never succeeded in it… Shouldn’t b able to report on it #FACT”

Good one.

What about the time Twitter user @G_Dubble wrote the following?

“@bigdaddywookie f*ck substance either deal wit the style or trade me ya feeel me ? n im a wizards fan but i hate seein u only gettin 20 mins”

And how did Mr. McGee respond on Twitter?

“@G_Dubble wow nicely said”

How eloquent.

Please allow me to counter with:

We all have a lot to learn about a lot of things. I’m no more qualified to judge than the next person … as someone a mere 30-years in age, I certainly am aware of my shortcomings, or at least I try to be. I’m not trying to start “confrontation” or overly criticize/demean one with talents such as McGee’s.

But I do have my own observations from watching countless Wizards games. I do have the words of Ron Artest, whatever they mean. I do see the Wizards coaching staff — Sam Cassell, Randy Whitman, Flip Saunders — perpetually shaking their heads from side to side in reaction to McGee’s basketball ineptitude. And I do have typing fingers and a blog. McGee will eventually “get it”, but until then, I’m more than comfortable with writing the following:

JaVale McGee, it’s time to cut the bullshit and grow up. #FACT

Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.

  • Anthony

    “Well, if you’re in kill mode, like a mode where you feel like no one can stop you, and you just work hard and no one can stop you, then you get cheese – success,” McGee says

  • There is no doubt JaVale McGee is a talented player, but he just needs to take that next step.

    The problem is there is no veteran leadership on this team to help him, Andray Blatche and John Wall are talented players, but there isn’t someone there to motivate them.

    Sam Casell was brought in to do that, maybe he can get through to these guys.

  • Anthony

    wondering how bad McGee wants cheese, if only he were british.

  • gus

    It’s also pretty juvenile to be so snide and sarcastic.

  • Don’t be so hard on javale. Look who he has for role models. the Wizards to not have the most mature or determined team. arena has that cry-baby scowl in every game and Blathche despite his size, strength and athleticism prefers to be in the perimeter rather than bang down low.

  • Robert

    I haven’t given up on Javale yet and of course he has tremendous athleticism and upside. But I haven’t seen much progress beyond the jaw dropping dunks and swats, and it’s substance that wins basketball games. Despite his shortcomings (passing and rebounding) Nick has made considerable strides this year in consistently scoring, playing within the offense, and defensive intensity. Hoping that Javale takes his cue and starts improving because we are one of the weakest teams in the league both defending and attacking the paint.

  • Leo S


  • Mike Jordan’s 4th cousin in law

    Javele stinks. Bottom line, plain and simple, so stop thinking he’s something that he’s not. And damnitt, I challenge anyone to prove otherwise.

  • jazzy1

    lol at all the consternation about javale mcgee.

    Javale has gone from 6,4 last season to

    10,8,2.3 thats actual visible improvement.

    acting like this is a referendum on why the Wizards are struggling is ridiculous.

    How about having a fat (Blatche) pf who doesn’t care about defense and who can’t stay healthy.

    How about a 9th year former allstar who gained 15lb’s in 2 weeks and misfires on more shots than anyone currently playing in the league the same former allstar guard who doesn’t appear to care about leadership and who doesn’t want to be a Wizard.

    or how about the number 1 pick who is missing games with a sore knee and a sore foot yet has no structural damage and won’t push through something every nba player has to deal with nightly. LOL I can’t imagine Kobe saying coach can’t play tonight got tendonitis can’t practice or even warm up sorry. see ya in a week.

    or how about Nick Young who never passes kills ball movement and depresses his own team with every missed shot and look off when they’re standing wide open under the basket.

    but you write an idiotic article ripping Mcgee who’s actually improved as a player because he’s running around acting like a kid and occasionally plays a lazy game on a team full of lazy players.

    yeah how about rip the sorry coach who has never elevated a single team he’s ever coach past the heights of their talent.

  • Michael

    @jazzy1- His stats are improved because he his getting more playing time, not because he is playing any better. His only improvement is in muscle/strength. He is still making the same mistakes he did last year and showing little improvement.