The Washington Wizards may be complacent on the court, but no one works harder on finding hilarious ways to be dysfunctional. Today's contributor: JaVale McGee's mommy, who has complaints about her son's playing time, his role in the team's offense, and whether he's being coached properly.
Pamela McGee is no ordinary mom; she's the first former WNBA player to have a son play in the NBA, and she was also her son's AAU coach. Mike Wise of the Washington Post interviewed her and does his best to portray her as an involved parent who's protective of her son's interests, even now that he's 24 years old and in his fourth NBA season. Wise also gets JaVale to admit his mommy "can be a Little League parent sometimes," but that's basically what the rest of us get to see for ourselves.
Pamela McGee's opening salvo:
"He is not a knucklehead. JaVale is a good kid. My son is special. He has gifts you can't teach: hands, height, and heart. If I'm the Wizards and I'm really trying to build a franchise, really committed to rebuilding and developing, I would nurture that talent. I would help a kid like JaVale the best I could."
Her take on what McGee did Monday, when he bounced the ball off the backboard and dunked even though the Wizards were trailing the Rockets at the time (video above):
"I know people are making a big deal of that play. Look, JaVale does that to break up the monotony. Wouldn't you if you were losing like this? He's been here for four years and it's been same ol', same ol'. I don't want him to get institutionalized to losing. My son is the future of the NBA. I don't want him to be part of this culture of losing forever."
On Wizards coach Flip Saunders, who had called McGee's trick slam "unacceptable":
"The one thing I never did as a coach, never not once in my career, was throw my players under a bus. If I had a problem, I would take that player in the locker room and would let them know and we would work it out. I would never throw my player under the bus."
On McGee's playing time (he averages 29.5 minutes per game):
"One game, he goes in for 20 minutes; the next almost 40 minutes. Sometimes he can't even get into a flow, they're yanking him in and out so much."
On McGee's role in the Wizards' offense, and how he's coached:
"They aren't running any plays for him. With a 7-footer with hands like that, the kid is averaging a double-double without plays run for him; he gets those points off garbage. Now, let me ask you: If Orlando gets Dwight Howard and they bring in a big man like Patrick Ewing to work with him, and the Lakers get Andrew Bynum and they bring in Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] to work with him, you would think it would make sense to get a coach like that for JaVale, right?"
On Blake Griffin beating McGee during last year's slam-dunk contest:
"We don't do second. We win championships. He's a McGee. He has to come back to All-Star and represent."
Moms! You may see JaVale McGee's performance so far as the centerpiece of an embarrassing team failure. Pamela McGee sees it as a wonderful craft project she can't wait to hang on the refrigerator.
JaVale McGee ‘is not a knucklehead;' just ask his mom [Washington Post]