During his memorable tenure with the Washington Wizards, young big man JaVale McGee developed a reputation among basketball connoisseurs as something of an airhead. Between his overly-ambitious blocks, inability to run in the right direction, mistimed alley-oops and hilarious efforts to undermine the NBPA during this past summer’s labor negotiations – McGee’s narrative appeared etched in stone. There was no way we’d ever view him any differently than we have grown accustomed to viewing him over the past few years.
And then he went and got traded to the Denver Nuggets. In less than a week with his new squad, McGee has done a complete 180 – culminating with his game-winner during Wednesday night’s showdown between the Nuggets and Detroit Pistons.
No wonder George Karl compared him to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! [“His length is very impressive. He's long," Karl said to the Denver Post. "I think he plays a little bit like Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), but he's a defensive Kareem more than an offensive Kareem. He's not going to be a power player, but he's going to be an athletic-length-long player.”]
The jury is still out on whether or not McGee can be the next Kareem (not really), but this much is undeniable – he’s off to a very good start with the Nuggets.