JaVale! We Take It All Back!

Just the other day, Denver coach George Karl compared new Nugget JaVale McGee (acquired in a trade with Washington for Nene) to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, saying “I think he plays a little bit like Kareem, but he’s a defensive Kareem more than an offensive Kareem.”

Upon hearing this, I poured a full grande-in-a-venti-cup coffee all over the floor because it seemed like an appropriately absurd reaction to such a ridiculous statement. JaVale McGee is supposed to be comic relief. He’s supposed to run the wrong way down the court, sing Adele to himself in his car, and get text messages from his mother about going KILLMODE SQUARED. He’s not supposed to be developing his game and getting compared to one of the greatest big men in the history of the game, right?

You know what? Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to all that. On Wednesday night, in his Denver debut, McGee basically won a game for the Nuggets, using his admittedly freakish athleticism to put back a late-game free throw for the Nuggets, helping them edge out the Pistons. Denver won, 116-115. McGee had 15 points and seven boards in only 24 minutes.

For all the miserable losing he went through in Washington and all the Simpsons/Nelson laughs we had at his expense, it was kind of awesome to see a full Pepsi Center going nuts for McGee, for the right reasons. Maybe we won’t have JaVale to push around anymore. Maybe that’s OK.

Filed Under: Denver Nuggets, Javale Mcgee, NBA, Washington Wizards

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Chris Ryan is an editor at Grantland.

Archive @ chrisryan77