Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 9:54 AM ET, 02/19/2011

JaVale McGee wants to "represent for the big guys"

By Michael Lee

It might not seem like it, given the presence of Blake Griffin and the typical disadvantages of tall competitors, but Saturday's Slam Dunk contest may be the perfect convergence for JaVale McGee to burst on the national scene. No other place will allow McGee to showcase his amazing athletic gifts and a silly personality that he usually reserves for his interactions with teammates or self-produced Internet videos.

McGee has the ability to make up dunks on the spot -- such as the one where he bit the paper out of the net and slammed -- but he has been planning for this moment for some time, even working with his shoe company, Peak, to come up with special sneakers for all four of his dunks. He has a pair made for a Marvel comic book character, a mismatch pair and some other designs that he wasn't at liberty to share.

"I just want to be as creative as possible and get the edge," said McGee, who will competing against Los Angeles Clippers all-star forward Griffin, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan and Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka.

McGee's creativity will have to carry him, because he will be at a decided disadvantage at Staples Center, even though he spent two years of his youth in Los Angeles -- where his mother, Pam, played for the WNBA's Sparks -- and considers the city to be somewhat of a home base since he visits every summer. He knows that this competition is being billed as the coronation for Griffin, the ESPN Sports Center highlight staple.

"First of all, it's L.A. He's a hometown favorite," McGee said about Griffin. "I feel like it's a lot more pressure on Griffin than it is on me. I feel like people don't expect anything from me. I'm definitely going to come out the gates. People are going to be in awe. As long as I finish the dunks and finish clean, I should be all right."

McGee routinely tests the limits of his athleticism in practice. He's tapped his head against the rim. He's done between-the-legs dunks off the vertical. And, he pulled off a ridiculous dunk at the end of Wednesday's shootaround in Orlando, that brought his teammates out of their seats. If he decides to use that dunk on Saturday, he has a 50 in the can (I was sworn to secrecy now, but I'll share it after the competition).


Don't count me out. (By Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

At 7-feet-1, McGee's accomplishments are sometimes overlooked because he's already so close to the rim. He said judges often discriminate against big men. "Somewhat, especially being a 7-footer, because some dunks that I do don't look as good, even though it's the same difficulty. I came up with nice ones," McGee said. "As long as we come correct, with a lot of creativity, they can't discriminate against you."

Former Wizard and TNT/NBA TV analyst Chris Webber worked with McGee on Thursday and was blown away by what he came up with. "I thought he was crazy when he told me what it was and I saw him do it," he said. "I think he's going to do some awesome stuff. The problem is, to show how difficult the dunks he's doing really because he's so tall and athletic. This guy, athletically, it's a shame he's so long, because he if he was 5-5, he would win this contest easily, because he can really jump."

McGee heard a lot of suggestions, but eventually settled on four dunks that he thought would work. "My mom wanted me to dunk from the three-point line, but that's not happening," he said.

McGee showed an appreciate for the history of the Slam Dunk contest when he mentioned that his favorite dunker of all-time was Larry Nance, the 6-10 winner of the first NBA contest in 1984. It took 24 years for Orlando Magic all-star center Dwight Howard to finally become the next player taller than 6-9 won. Howard brought back the excitement in the dunk contest by taking on the persona of Superman, so McGee said he plans on being...

"I'm going to be myself. He definitely showed big guys should at least get the opportunity," McGee said of Howard. "He represented by winning. I feel like I got to go out and represent for the big guys."

Howard joked that McGee also has to represent for "light-skinned brothers." When told about the comment, McGee smiled and said, "Light-skinned guys are coming back."

The NBA opened up the rules this season, allowing the players to use whatever they need to enhance their showmanship.

"I'm glad they took some of the rules out, you can use as many props as possible. This should be the re-spawning of the dunk contest," McGee said. "I was going to come out with some little shorts, but I decided not to. This is an opportunity to show my personality and goofiness, the way that I am around my teammates, more than I am around people I don't know. It should be a great experience."

By Michael Lee  | February 19, 2011; 9:54 AM ET
Categories:  JaVale McGee  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: John Wall wins MVP, sets assist record in Rookie Challenge victory
Next: Poll: Will John Wall and/or JaVale McGee win?

Comments

I'd prefer it if McGee burst on the national scene as an actual, you know, player.

Instead of just being a bust on it.

Posted by: KTV1 | February 19, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see Wall and Mcgee at the All-Star weekend, some rep for the Wiz is always enjoyable. Wall seemed flat out thrilled last night, never seen him that happy around here. I hope Mcgee gets to the Final of the dunks vs Blake Griffin. That type of pressure cooker will be a good learning experience.

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Supposedly this is the Knicks counter-offer for Carmelo: Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry's expiring contract and a first-round pick for Anthony, Billups and salary-cap filler. The pick would be from the Timberwolves in exchange for Anthony Randolph.

Doubt Denver would prefer that package to the Nets and their four first round picks plus Derrick Favors. The Nugs already have their replacement PG in Lawson and would probably prefer the inside help that Favors provides. But the real kicker is the draft picks. Those could be packaged in a couple different deals, or they could hang on to them.

Still, Anthony has a functional veto, and he hasn't wanted to mess with the Nets to this point.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"I'd prefer it if McGee burst on the national scene as an actual, you know, player.

Instead of just being a bust on it."

Lol, yeah that would be great.

If the Wiz had a coach who actually liked to coach big men that might happen.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

On the Melo trade, the elephant in the living room IMO is whether Melo is actually a good fit in NY. The Knicks have cooled off some so you don't hear much worry about messing up a winning combination, but what NY needs most on the front line is a rebounding, defensive center who can keep opponents out of the lane while allowing Amare to roam. That's not Anthony, of course.

In NJ it makes no difference because the Nets need everything, most of all a recognizable star player to draw fans. And with Melo in the fold, Prokhorov could be expected to shell out for another big name free agent during the off-season.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Anthony said from the beginning he wanted to be a Knicks player...thru all the smoke screen this is what he still desires...if he goes to the Nets it will be for no more than 2 years at best...He is not fooling anyone...and if the Nets give up 4 #1's they will go nowhere with Carmelo and come draft time they will be hurting...

And as for McGee..he wants to represent the big guy eh??? In a contest??? Too bad he has no desire to represent to the Wiz....sad......

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 19, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, once again Mr. Lee and The Post are all over the biggest story for DC coming out of the weekend. Not one word about Motta being nominated for the HOF, just an AP piece where it is buried in a middle paragraph. Is there anyone left at this place who knows anything about the history of DC sports?

Posted by: truke | February 19, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Note to JaVale McGee; I would rather you "represent" on a nightly basis for your team instead of bullsh_ting at a non descript dunk contest which don't mean jack!

Posted by: dargregmag | February 19, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Note to JaVale McGee; I would rather you "represent" on a nightly basis for your team instead of bullsh_ting at a non descript dunk contest which don't mean jack!

Posted by: dargregmag | February 19, 2011 5:14 PM

Where is Kalo_rama when you really need him? Kalo_rama is signature for calling posters comments nonsense. Where you at on this on Kalo_rama.

This statement by dargregmag is as you would say, nonsense.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Like others above, I wish JaVale was as concerned about the real games as he is about some trashy contest. He wants to 'represent.'. Please.

What a fraud.

Meanwhile, the Knicks, or the Nets, are working on actually becoming something with Carmelo.

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | February 19, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Nonsense.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah right. Nonsense. LOL.

The man folds the minute he's up against anybody with size and skill. And he then sits on the bench and sulks after he gets pulled. Looks like my 12 year old does when things don't go her way. He looks like a little kid.

But now, he's all into this dumb contest. What a pro. Guess that's what passes for accomplishment for kids these days.

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | February 19, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Note to JaVale McGee; I would rather you "represent" on a nightly basis for your team instead of bullsh_ting at a non descript dunk contest which don't mean jack!

Posted by: dargregmag | February 19, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Dang folks. We all know Javele needs to work on his "overall game", but come on lighten up and enjoy the show. Remember, if Javele had stayed his whole 4 years he would be a senior right now in college and probably a lottery pick.

Give the young boy time to mature and "fill out" some and he will be just fine. I am a true Wiz fan, so anytime somebody on our team can get some national "pub" without it being negative, I am all for it.

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 19, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks BulletsFever.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

@Bulletsfever...I understand what you are saying about giving McGee time since this would be his senior year in college...but....seems many have been saying the same thing about Blatche and he is in his what, 6th year???

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 19, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@Truke...I hear you...most sports writers with the Post don't have a clue to the name Motta...sad....

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 19, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

@Bulletsfever...I understand what you are saying about giving McGee time since this would be his senior year in college...but....seems many have been saying the same thing about Blatche and he is in his what, 6th year???

Posted by: pentagon40 | February 19, 2011 7:52 PM

So what in this makes negative spin and inappropriate nonsensical criticism of JaVale McGee being selected to represent the WASHINGTONON WIZARDS in the NBA ALL-STAR SLAM DUNK CONTEST valid in any way atall???

Pray tell, what kind of foolishness enters ones mind to criticize a player for being selected to participate in an event(The All-Star Extravaganza) that the best of the best are recognized for?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@BulletsFever
You're right. For once in this miserable season, we should be able to "lighten up and enjoy the show." The All-Star weekend is for entertainment purposes.

JaVale says that he wants to "represent for the big guys." Let's sit back and watch him REPRESENT. We saw John Wall represent the Wizards very well on Friday. If JaVale puts on a show in the slam dunk contest, it definitely puts a positive light on our franchise.

Posted by: musicmanjr | February 19, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it's all entertainment and perhaps I should be of better cheer as it relates to JaVale. That's fine.

But here's the question.

Has he been working on his game to go up against Dwight Howard and the like in the same way he's been preparing for this dunk-a-thon?

Also... Which seems more important to him?

Posted by: fenderdeluxe | February 19, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

On the topic of former Wizard big men, here's a nice update on James Singleton:
http://www.bulletsforever.com/2011/2/17/1999095/being-in-the-nba-theres-a-lot-of-politics-to-the-game-it-doesnt

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 19, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

@fenderdeluxe,

Success is a strange thing at times. No one really knows what spurs a player to become successful. Let's say that JaVale is all geeked up for the Slamarama and he is puttin in time onit' and he is successful and appreciative of his own effort.

It's like positive reinforcement for ones ownself and it could be that little bit of light that spurs him to apply that effort in other places and going forward.

The little things, no matter where they come from make up the whole.

That is why is so idiotice and stupid to throw water on what McGee can accomplish in his own mind in trying to do well in this contest.

Success breeds success.

For McGee. Do well young man. To do well would be a hugh boost for his confidence. And I am sure he won't let Flip Saunders and all the folks who want to detract from something that is good DETER HIM.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's disrespectful to the contestants to point out that the dunk contest isn't really basketball, but is more of a TV garbage sport. Doesn't take anything away from their performance.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

haters gonna hate.

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

The dunk contest is a TV garbage sport?

Wow!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's disrespectful to the contestants to point out that the dunk contest isn't really basketball, but is more of a TV garbage sport. Doesn't take anything away from their performance.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

This is just a little bit off topic. Has anyone ever referred to the baseball all-star game Home Run Derby as a TV garbage sport? I mean, pitching coaches tossing batting practice pitches to sluggers, just to see how many moon shots guys can smoke.

NBA's dunk contest deserves just as much respect as "America's Pastime."

Posted by: musicmanjr | February 19, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Home Run Contest in baseball is a TV garbage sport as well.

The NFL All Pro game is as well even though it had one of the highest viewer ratings ever this year.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"NBA's dunk contest deserves just as much respect as "America's Pastime."Posted by: musicmanjr"

Yes it does. Which is not very much.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

"The NFL All Pro game is as well even though it had one of the highest viewer ratings ever this year.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Yep, it's crap. I mean, American Idol gets ratings. Dancing with the Stars gets ratings. Those are basically crap, too.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing wrong with Javale that a change in coach or team won't fix! I've never seen him sulk. I don't think any of you have either.

Posted by: bobilly1 | February 19, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

"haters gonna hate.Posted by: divi3"

Aren't you at the game, Javale?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

"There's nothing wrong with Javale that a change in coach or team won't fix! I've never seen him sulk. I don't think any of you have either.Posted by: bobilly1"

OK, you lost me. What difference does that make?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Thing about TV garbage sports is that they're designed to boost ratings. If they didn't, they'd be off the air. So saying that many people watch is stating the obvious.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

So saying that many people watch is stating the obvious.

That's funny, previously you claimed you read an article that said dunk contest was intended for 12yr olds. Did you ever find the link for that...or were you just making it up?

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Dr. J. kissed Pam McGee straight up. I would have done the same. Can't get better TV than this.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"That's funny, previously you claimed you read an article that said dunk contest was intended for 12yr olds. Posted by: divi3"

Hmmm, non sequitur there. What I'm saying is that staged contests like the dunkarama are designed to get ratings. That's why they exist. So saying that they're popular is something of a tautology. Of course they are.

I don't think people are necessarily idiots for watching such events, because after all they're made to be watched. Just pointing out that they're not really basketball.

So if Javale wins the dunk contest, it won't IMO make him a better basketball player.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

"That's funny, previously you claimed you read an article that said dunk contest was intended for 12yr olds. Did you ever find the link for that...or were you just making it up?Posted by: divi3"

Nope, seems like what I actually said was that I saw an article that described the dunk contest as aimed at a 12-24 year old audience demographic. You responded that the demographic group was 18-35. I looked it up and found that in fact, that demographic was sometimes divided by marketers at 24 years, yielding the so-called 'college' segment. I don't think I was able to find the original article, but I presented it as a casual find, not gospel.

So once again, you distorted what I said. That's no surprise. It's your thing. Like seeing Javale throw down a mighty dunk -- we'd be more surprised if he pulled up and sank a fifteen footer.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

OK, back to the subject at hand: JaVale just got robbed by the voters in the slam dunk contest. But, if it took a 2011 Kia, and the Crenshaw High School choir to give the edge to Blake, so be it.

Posted by: musicmanjr | February 19, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

So if Javale wins the dunk contest, it won't IMO make him a better basketball player.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2011 10:57 PM

He did not win but I am proud of him and I thought he did very well.

So Samson151, what would give you the idea that this experience that McGee just went through will not impact him in a positive way and not even on the basketball court?

Just what makes you think that this experience by JaVale McGee won't make him any better?

Samson151, turn in your Pimp card, your membership is cancelled, just get out Da' Club.

Man, you are really smart.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Javale was robbed....Blake dunk was Way overrated. Javale did dunks never ever seen before.

Posted by: lemekdivine | February 19, 2011 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Javale just got jobbed,Blake shouldn't even have been in the final much less won,you can argue all you want about this and that,dunk contest is garbage blah blah blah. It is what it is so what,put all that BS aside and tell me when anybody has seen anything like his first 3 dunks since the days of DR.J,David Thompson,Nance and Dominique. Those were awesome and that 3rd one where he had to duck his head to keep from knocking it off was the best.Much Love Javale,keep improving and tell these sofa junkies to kiss your A.

Posted by: mfowler1 | February 19, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

plain and simple Mcgee was robbed.... and blind no less! But just like the Wizard franchise no respect!

Posted by: tommycat | February 19, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Robbed,obviously. Oh well.

Posted by: DKSW | February 19, 2011 11:39 PM | Report abuse

"So Samson151, what would give you the idea that this experience that McGee just went through will not impact him in a positive way and not even on the basketball court?" Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

Um, what I said is that it won't make him a better basketball player -- and it won't.

Here's why: we already knew he could dunk. After tonight, we know for certain that -- he can dunk.

"Samson151, turn in your Pimp card, your membership is cancelled, just get out Da' Club." Posted by LarryInClintonMD

I'm not going to pretend to understand that.

"Man, you are really smart. LarryInClintonMD."

Wish I could say the same...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

There was no way Griffin was not gonna lose this one, he had the NBA's backing coming in.

Posted by: jbworldwide | February 20, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

"Javale just got jobbed,Blake shouldn't even have been in the final much less won,you can argue all you want about this and that,dunk contest is garbage blah blah blah."


OK -- the dunk contest is garbage TV.

"Those [dunks] were awesome and that 3rd one where he had to duck his head to keep from knocking it off was the best.Much Love Javale,keep improving and tell these sofa junkies to kiss your A."Posted by: mfowler1

Should I point out that Javale is more than seven feet tall? Of course his head was close to the rim. And I wasn't on the sofa for the dunk contest -- I'm presuming you were.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 12:08 AM | Report abuse

"There was no way Griffin was not gonna lose this one, he had the NBA's backing coming in.Posted by: jbworldwide"

Well, sure. The NBA needs a superstar and Blake may fill the bill. So yeah, he was gonna win.

What did ya expect -- it's a phony TV event.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Well, sure. The NBA needs a superstar and Blake may fill the bill. So yeah, he was gonna win.

What did ya expect -- it's a phony TV event.

Posted by: Samson151 |


The NBA is not short on star power, not even superstar power. Griffin is a monster talent, and the NBA will endorse accordingly. Good showing JaVale!

Posted by: jbworldwide | February 20, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm a lifelong Bullets fan, but it's hard to believe anyone actually worries about whether McGee's "loss" was legitimate. Who cares? The entire weekend is an exhibition, and the dunk contest has been a waste of time since Spud Webb. The fact that McGee brought his mom out of the crowd and Griffin had Baron Davis toss a ball through the roof of a car further proved that the event is all about choreography and not about actual dunking ability (I was just angry that the bar I was in had it showing on TVs on every wall). Plus, the way each guy had to sit on the little Sprite box and the morons wore white gloves so they wouldn't get their fingerprints on the car ... it has nothing to do with anything that even slightly resembles basketball. It's hard to imagine why anyone would want to take part or attend the event.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | February 20, 2011 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company