When the basis for an article is interviewing a mom about her son, you know what’s bound to happen: irrationality entrenched in unconditional love. No big deal, it’s to be expected. But when theWashington Post’s Mike Wise loads his pen with the ink of JaVale McGee’s mom, Pamela, talking about her son: a media firestorm fueled by irrationality. Oh what, if anything, will Ted Leonsis’ blogging fingers say about these maternally induced pixels, seeing that through the conduit of Wise, Pamela calls out his coach and his franchise? The Wizards may wind up miffed because of Wise’s article, but they certainly can’t be surprised. Difficulties with JaVale McGee’s mom — the “Little League parent,” Wise calls her — are well-known throughout the organization.
She calls out Flip Saunders for “throwing JaVale under the bus” in criticizing his recent backboard dunk, a feat she says was done to “break up to monotony” of losing. (Does she realize how much Saunders bites the bullet to defend McGee already?) We also know that Flip didn’t even take McGee out of the game because of that dunk against Houston. He played the next five minutes of the third quarter and about the first three minutes of the fourth… before getting the hook for completely losing track of Jordan Hill for a points and then subsequently shooting a bad jumper.
During last Friday’s Washington Wizards win over New Jersey Nets, Comcast’s Chris Miller had an in-game interview with JaVale McGee’s mother, Pamela. The questions centered around her thoughts on JaVale being selected for the All-Star dunk contest. She talked about how proud she is to see his growth as a basketball player, his love of dunking, and shared a story where JaVale touched the top of backboard in street shoes at his pre-draft workout for Cleveland. Hilarity ensues at the 1:08 mark of video when Pam interrupts her backboard story to yell this to a passerby:
“Hey dude, we’re on TV … We’re on TV dude!”
There’s no video of the funny exchange, only audio while highlights of JaVale are shown, so the identity of the interview interrupter is unknown, but Gheorghe Muresan is sitting in the background. Miller later tries to prod Pam, a former WNBA player and Olympic champion, into revealing if she would be involved in any of McGee’s dunks. She coyly indicated that she would be on-hand for the festivities, but stopped short from officially announcing her participation.
I was going to throw this in a link post (ShareBullets), but it seems worthy on its own. ESPN’s Chris Sheridan has posted a full update from Team USA training camp day two on TrueHoop, but I’ll quote one particular aspect that’s certainly of interest to Wizards fans. Sheridan writes:
After practice, I spent some time chatting with JaVale McGee, who was cut from the team after mini-camp in Las Vegas but then was invited back when Brook Lopez withdrew. McGee had an interesting story to tell about rifling through the dresser drawers at his grandmother’s house when he was a young boy and coming upon the Olympic gold medal was won by his mother, Pam McGee, for the 1984 U.S. Olympic women’s team. McGee’s aunt, Paula — the twin sister of Pam — was cut from the ’84 team, and McGee’s younger sister, Imani Stafford, 16, won a gold medal earlier this summer for the United States at the under-17 girls World Championship in France.“He’s trying to do what he can do,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said, “and if we don’t make the final roster decision here, which I don’t think we will, I hope he continues on with us because he’ll keep getting better. At that spot, Tyson (Chandler) is really playing well, and you know what Lamar (Odom) will do when he gets into game shape. But if something goes wacky, to have another big guy is not a bad thing. That’s where he fits in. He’s in the discussion. And when we started camp in Vegas he wasn’t even invited. So he’s made that much of an impression.