May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts against the Phoenix Suns in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Luka Doncic does not have very many weaknesses, but pronunication appears to be one of them.
Video went viral on Friday of the Dallas Mavericks star Doncic struggling mightily to pronounce the name of new teammate JaVale McGee. Doncic was referring to McGee as “Joel” during training camp before being corrected by a team staffer. Check out the funny video.
For McGee, a 14-year NBA veteran and three-time champion, that has to be adding insult to injury that Doncic does not even know his name. You might recall that McGee was on the Phoenix Suns team that Doncic stuffed into a suitcase last postseason.
Nov 27, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban smiles for the camera before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
A revolution may be brewing in the NBA — the unlikely return of tall ball.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported this week that new Dallas Mavericks big man Christian Wood is “wide open” to the idea of starting at power forward next year. The point of the move would be to accommodate another newly-acquired Mavs big, seven-foot center JaVale McGee.
Wood, who just arrived from the Houston Rockets, had become a full-time center over the last couple of seasons. But with his height (6-foot-9) and his three-point shooting skill (38.0 percent from deep on his career), Wood may be able to reverse pivot to the 4 for the Mavs. Doing so would keep the floor properly spaced for Luka Doncic while also allowing Doncic to maintain an alley-oop gadget in the starting lineup in McGee.
On a more macro-NBA scale, the two-big era seemed to be dead and buried for the better part of the last decade. But the seeds for a comeback had been planted this postseason with the success of Boston Celtics double trees Al Horford and Robert Williams alongside each other in the starting lineup. A recent blockbuster deal elsewhere in the West is also hinting at a twin-tower resurgence, and now a Wood-McGee tandem could be next to join the party.
We now have more context about the fan incident involving Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee during Tuesday’s game against the Orlando Magic.
McGee got into it with a fan sitting courtside at Amway Center in Orlando during a stoppage in the fourth quarter. Obscenities were exchanged, and the fan was ultimately ejected. You can see the video of the incident here.
Suns writer Gerald Bourguet revealed what the fan said, quoting cameramen who were sitting near the area. The fan reportedly targeted Phoenix center Deandre Ayton, saying that Ayton was not worth the money. The fan then allegedly told Ayton something to the effect of “Sit down, you little b—h,” which McGee took exception to, thus escalating the incident.
Phoenix would go on to win 102-99. In reality, Ayton, who put up 21 points and 19 rebounds against Orlando, is only making $12.6 million this season. He failed to agree to a new contract with the Suns last offseason, which was a source of significant drama.
It may not be as savage as it was in years past, but JaVale McGee is going after his longtime adversary once again.
The new Phoenix Suns center appeared this week on “Club Shay Shay” with Shannon Sharpe. During the episode, Sharpe asked McGee to name his top three NBA rappers of all-time. McGee picked Damian Lillard, Allen Iverson, and Lou Williams. When Sharpe responded incredulously that McGee had left Shaquille O’Neal off his list, McGee got in a funny diss.
“He went platinum off fame,” he replied. “I wouldn’t say, like, lyrics.”
McGee does have a point. O’Neal released four albums in the 1990s, one of which was certified platinum by the RIAA and another that was certified gold. But O’Neal’s elite ability to market himself was likely a much bigger reason for their success than his bars alone. McGee is also well-educated on the topic, having actually been nominated for a Grammy last year.
The two big men obviously a very long history of beef, dating back to when O’Neal used to clown McGee on his “Shaqtin’ A Fool” segment for making boneheaded plays. Their feud once got so heated that their mothers had to get involved to put an end to it. Hopefully, O’Neal does not take McGee’s shot at his lyrical prowess as personally this time.
“I would probably say LeBron the first year I was on the Lakers,” he replied.
McGee won NBA titles with both players, doing so with Curry in 2017 and 2018, then with James in 2020. For what it’s worth, McGee had perhaps the best season and the biggest role of his career in his first year with the Lakers in 2018-19. He averaged 12.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in 22.3 minutes per game. That compares to just 5.5 points and 2.9 rebounds in 9.5 minutes per game over two seasons with Curry in Golden State.
The Phoenix Suns have added an Olympic champion to their roster.
The Suns on Monday announced that they have signed center JaVale McGee. McGee’s deal was originally reported to be for one year at $5 million.
The 33-year-old center split time between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets last season. He played 33 games for the Cavs before being traded to the Nuggets in late March. The trade marked a return for McGee to Denver, as he also played there from 2011-2015.
McGee averaged 7.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 14.7 minutes per game last season. He was a surprise late addition to the US Olympic team, where he joined new teammate Devin Booker in a gold medal effort in Tokyo. During the Olympics, McGee scored 25 points over 20 minutes in four games.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have found a trade partner for JaVale McGee, and it is one that is quite familiar to the veteran center.
McGee is headed back to the Denver Nuggets, according to multiple reports. The Cavs are getting 22-year-old big man Isaiah Hartenstein and two future protected second-round draft picks in the deal.
There was speculation earlier this month that McGee could return to the Los Angeles Lakers, but that would have required a more complicated deal. McGee would have had to be traded by the Cavs to a third team and then bought out in order for him to return to L.A. The Lakers would otherwise be ineligible to re-acquire McGee after trading him to Cleveland in November.
McGee, 33, is averaging 8.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season. He previously played for Denver from 2012-2015.
The Nuggets entered Thursday with a record of 26-18 and in fifth place in the Western Conference. McGee should provide them with some nice frontcourt depth.
The Los Angeles Lakers could be getting their secret weapon back just in time for the stretch run of the season.
Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday that veteran big man JaVale McGee shares interest with the Lakers in a potential reunion. Woike notes however that McGee would have to be traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers to a third team and then bought out in order for him to return. The Lakers would otherwise be ineligible to re-acquire McGee after trading him to Cleveland in November.
McGee, 33, is a misfit on the sub-.500 Cavs, especially after they landed 22-year-old Jarrett Allen to soak up most of the minutes at center. The Lakers are hurting for size with Anthony Davis out and Marc Gasol, whom they traded McGee to create room for, visibly in decline. Journeyman Damian Jones started at center in the Lakers’ final game before the All-Star break.
The Lakers are also eyeing seven-footers elsewhere in the league. But McGee is already acquainted with the team’s style, having played the previous two seasons with them, including their NBA championship victory. He had also accepted and flourished in a limited role for the Lakers, making him an attractive option if he can make it through the procedural hoops first.
JaVale McGee already has three NBA championship rings. Now the Brooklyn Nets could be giving him an opportunity to go after No. 4.
Brian Lewis of the New York Post reported on Monday that the Nets are interested in acquiring the Cleveland Cavaliers big man. Jason Dumas of KRON4 News took it a step further. He reported that Brooklyn is in “active” discussions with the Cavs to acquire the seven-footer McGee.
The 33-year-old McGee has looked good in limited time for Cleveland this season. He holds averages of 8.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 16.8 minutes per game. McGee also provides interior defense and energy that the Nets sorely lack, especially off the bench. What is more is that he won back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018 with Nets star Kevin Durant on the Golden State Warriors.
Brooklyn still has three open roster spots after sending out four players to acquire James Harden. Big man Norvel Pelle is set to get one of those spots. But the Nets also have a taxpayer midlevel exception plus a disabled player exception for Spencer Dinwiddie to target a player like McGee with. McGee in Brooklyn could also lead to some juicy Eastern Conference playoff drama.