We’re still a few days away from Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Usually when there’s a long layoff, a few stories rise up onto the national radar that involve someone from one team saying something anonymously to a member of the media about someone on the other team. Thanks to a comment that a Cavaliers player made to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, we have an anonymous quote regarding someone they’ll face in the Finals.
McMenamin and Brian Windhorst appeared on Tuesday’s episode of The Basketball Analogy Show podcast. At one point, Windhorst mentioned Warriors center JaVale McGee, which led to McMenamin revealing that one Cavs player doesn’t think McGee is smart enough to play in this series.
“I had a Cavs player disagree with your opinion of McGee, Brian,” McMenamin said. “He postulated to me that he doesn’t even think McGee’s gonna be able to get on the court or certainly not stay on the court because he doesn’t think he’s quote, unquote ‘smart enough’ to be able to play in this series.”
McGee has played well in fairly limited minutes for the Warriors this postseason. In 10.5 minutes a night, he’s averaging seven points and 3.2 rebounds on 74 percent shooting. Golden State’s depth chart at center is pretty good beyond McGee – Zaza Pachulia has been a steady presence down low when healthy and Draymond Green’s role in the team’s “death lineup” is well-documented – but he’s still an important cog in what the team does on both sides of the ball when he’s in.
Singling out McGee as a person to ridicule isn’t exactly a new thing – Shaq did that for years, albeit in a different context (well, at least until he started getting really mean). However, saying someone isn’t smart enough to play in the Finals is a serious claim, especially with how high tensions will be between these teams.
We’ll eventually find out if this assessment of McGee’s basketball IQ is true, but it’s probably a safe bet that the Warriors want to win at least one game because their backup center had a huge night.
(Via Bleacher Report)