This may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back which then caused that camel to fall on the puppy holding a bouquet of flowers for his puppy girlfriend while they nuzzled wet puppy noses in a field of porcelain angels surrounded by butterflies and rainbows, and ice cream.
Did you hear what JaVale McGee did?
Maybe you read about it. Maybe somebody told you. Or, you can listen to JaVale McGee himself over a tape recorder, via the L.A. Times website, saying, “There’s definitely some guys in there saying that they’re ready to fold, but there are some guys, a majority of us, are ready to stand strong,” when asked by a reporter outside of a National Basketball Players Association meeting if players are standing strong against the NBA lockout, or if some are saying that they’re ready to go back to work.
Maybe McGee was earnest and right, but a negotiator with media concerns in mind he is not.
This, of course, happening after he ducked out of the NBPA meeting early. You know what else McGee enjoyed, aside from an early exit from long, tedious meetings (something we’ve all dreamed about)? He enjoyed the bountiful food spread provided by the hotel where players’ meeting was being held. On-location he Tweeted:
@JaValeMcGee34: “Good thing about NBPA meetings is the layout of food! Scrumptious!-P”
What hotel you say? Why, the Beverly Hilton… in Beverly Hills, California. Good one, NBA players. Millionaires versus billionaires here. Cue some old hack’s joke comparing McGee to Paris Hilton.
“The person who spent the least amount of time in the room can’t make that statement,” said NBPA rep Derek Fisher at the players’ post-meeting press conference. In the background, other players and union chief Billy Hunter snickered at mere mention of McGee by a reporter. Wanna watch the video? Sure you do.
At least JaVale, in his own curb-side media session while waiting for the valet to bring him his car, also said he was “very disappointed” that there weren’t more players at the meeting, saying there were only about 25-30 present. Guess they don’t all enjoy free food. He also indicated that “facts” were used to convince “ready to fold” players otherwise.
JaVale then took to Twitter to defend himself…
@JaValeMcGee34: “I never said anyone is ready to fold! Media always wanna turn it!”
To which ESPN Los Angeles reporter Dave McMenamin zinged…
And then McGee re-Tweeted a re-Tweeted Tweet, essentially telling folks to not believe the words that were coming out of his mouth.
@JaValeMcGee34: RT @stevekylerNBA: RT @WojYahooNBA: Player who attended NBPA meeting in Los Angeles texts: “Don’t believe (@JaValeMcGee34) McGee.”
Back to the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. This is where one might have a soft spot for McGee. I feel bad for the young guy, I really do. Perhaps mostly because the stupid comments for which he’s now being called out for by the NBA universe might be along the lines of what Wizards fans have been used to this whole time.
Neither side can risk anything in negotiations right now, especially not a hint of dissension. Why do you think David Stern has fined NBA owners for even mentioning the lockout? Ted Leonsis got a $100,000 fine in September. One can only hope that McGee is aware enough to feel as bad as the ice cold stares players are going to be giving him the next time they see him. But they probably understand, too. What player hasn’t been susceptible to ill-advised comments?
Lessons have been hard for JaVale over his NBA career. But it’s okay. He can only be better for it in the end, right?
And now, pictures to celebrate JaVale…