JaVale McGee: The Warrior (Rated PG)

Published by Yoshi on 19th October - 18:00 (CET)
Rocky, Karate Kid, the pink Power Ranger - and now JaVale McGee! It is time, ladies and gentlemen, for another epic comeback story in sports. At least I really, really hope it is. How could one not root for this Ugly Duckling kind of fairytale to develop into a swan-like ending?

The freakishly athletic 7-footer has, ever since he entered the league in 2008, shown so much potential but time and time again stumbled on the finishing line. Or halfway. Or sometimes at the starting line. But nonetheless, throughout his career with the Wizards, Nuggets, 76ers and Mavericks we have seen glimpses of something fantastic - a Rudy Gobert with more upper-body strength and unreal hops - mixed in with the less fantastic - a Rudy Gobert with the decision making of a squirrel on crack and the balance of Bambi on ice. As he now signs a non-guaranteed contract with arguably the best team of all time, are we finally going to see Crack Bambi realize his full potential?

For half a decade the TNT OverTime crew has been merciless on poor JaVale, and his every on-court mistake from 2011 to 2016 has been broadcasted and ridiculed for the whole world to see in their segment Shaqtin' A Fool. That's gotta sting! As JaVale is now working to make the rotation on a loaded Warriors team, he knows that his MVP performance on Shaqtin' A Fool is working against him:

“Fans think it’s real, like that’s real life and they think I’m a dumb person. It’s just really disappointing that grown men, 50, 40 year olds are having America’s funniest home videos of a player. And then making it a hashtag and really just trying to ruin someone’s career over basketball mistakes.”

In fairness, there has been much more than the bloopers standing in the way of the prolific career JaVale could have had - with his motivation and work-ethic being questioned at multiple times - but, being drafted at age 20, those things could have more to do with immaturity and playing on bad teams (let's pretend the Nuggets under George Karl were bad, work with me here) than actual lack of motivation. As he is now surrounded by some of the best, most disciplined athletes in the league and has hopefully reached a higher level of maturity at age 28, we might see Steve Kerr finally be the one who manages to Mr Miyagi this young man's career back on track.

Wax on, wax of, JaVale McGee, get that comeback you deserve - Flagrant Flop is rooting for you!

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