On Tuesday night, Wizards big man JaVale McGee tallied 11 points, 12 boards, and 12 blocks against the Chicago Bulls. The Wizards lost, and were losing, when the team made a point of getting McGee one last basket in the game’s closing seconds, thus cementing the statistical feat. He did, and the young big man got excited about it.Everybody got all angry and stuff, comparing it to the time in 2003 that Ricky Davis tried to shoot at his own goal, miss, and grab the rebound—because he needed one more to get his triple-double. He was thwarted by Jazz player DeShawn Stevenson. In 1996, Anthony Bowie called a timeout to get that last elusive assist. He was fined. Bob Sura had a tripe-double disallowed in 2004. McGee, though, considers himself blameless, and resents being grouped in with these bad sports.
From Michael Lee at Wizards Insider:
“I got a triple-double,” McGee said. “Who can say they got a triple-double? I’m not really worried about it.”
“I couldn’t understand how they was saying it was like Ricky Davis,” McGee said. “The thing about it is, I wasn’t trying to get a triple-double until they started running plays for me at the end. So, that’s totally different.”
Fair enough. But more importantly, as coach Flip Saunders pointed out, the most impressive part of the triple-double was the 12 blocks, none of which anyone’s pitching a fit over. I would take it a step further: The Wizards trying to help McGee get his triple-double is certainly better than one man padding his stats, say, through scoring. At least it’s teamwork. And on this miserable lottery-bound team, that’s so full of young players still trying to figure themselves out, why not give let McGee spread his wings, see what he can do, and nit-pick over ethics later?
The man got 12 blocks. That bodes well for the future, and is exactly the kind of stat any good coach drools over. That basket at the end? We’ll have forgotten about it in two weeks. McGee’s interior play, though, sooner or later has to come around and really start scaring the league.