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JaVale McGee does not care what you think of his triple-double

Mar 18, 2011, 9:35 AM EDT

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards Getty Images

JaVale McGee got his first career triple-double against the Bulls Tuesday night — 12 rebounds, 12 blocked shots and 11 points.

And he has taken heat for it. He got there because the Wizards — down 18 points on their way to a big loss — left their starting center in and ran 3 minutes of plays for him to get him the final two points needed to reach the milestone. He got it with a dunk with 18 seconds left — then picked up a technical for hanging on the rim in celebration.

Analyst Kevin McHale called it “terrible” on NBATV right after the game ended. Others called him out, including Zach Lowe at The Point Forward at Sports Illustrated (and the Wizards get it there, too).

McGee doesn’t care what you think, as he told the Washington Post.

“I got a triple-double,” McGee said. “Who can say they got a triple-double? I’m not really worried about it.”

McGee said, if anything, he was upset that some tried to discredit his accomplishment by comparing it to other failed triple-double quests — such as the one eight years ago by Ricky Davis, who was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers when he attempted to rebound his own miss on his basket in order to get a triple-double in a win against Utah. Davis finished with 26 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds.

“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.”

It’s not different in intent. A triple double that comes out of the flow of a game is one thing, what we as fans don’t like is guys chasing stats at the expense of team. And when McGee is getting isolations 20 feet from the hoop, you can bet the Wizards are breaking the flow of their offense and the game to get the stats.

McGee got the 12 blocks in the flow of the game (he was going after everything, allowing Chicago to dominate on the offensive glass, but at least it was in the flow). But the points were chased. And that just feels cheap.

  1. hollywood26 - Mar 18, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    I’m confused as to how this wasn’t a triple double? And even more why it wasn’t considered exceptional. The kid played his heart out (for a change) and really was trying to get a win, versus getting stats. They played with 9 total players, 6 of which were rookies. He didn’t decide to go 1 on 5, his coaches decided to reward him for playing so hard, and in a way they have been working with him to do so (being a big defensive anchor and rebounder). Is it his fault that the offense (which was running on fumes by the end by the way) came to him? So if he got shots earlier it’s ok???? I understand the complaint about him being spoonfed the ball to get the points, but the REASON they had to spoon feed him is because unlike most games, he wasn’t taking shots that were not in the flow throughout the game. He was playing team ball and was rewarded and yet people still crap on him. Enough is enough. I want him traded off my wizards for value, but even I can’t fault his efforts in this one. This wasn’t like when Andray Blatche tried to create one by purposely missing a layup for the tip or even a Ricky Davis move. this was him following what HIS COACHES told him to do.

    • tubal22 - Mar 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      If you run your entire offense around getting one player his stats, he’s probably going to get them. Nothing wrong with that.

      The problem is that they broke what they normally do, and weren’t even trying to compete in the game to do it. It was classless.

      It was the coaches decision, and the coaches should take the heat. Not the player.

      But it’s still classless and isn’t the same.

  2. thestudiokida - Mar 18, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    People like to nay-say stat-conscious players but we should put it into perspective. Basketball is a team sport but there is an individual element of pride as well just like any job. Individuals usually like to measure their performance and it can be frustrating when a boss doesn’t do performance reviews or doesn’t make certain numerical measures available to us. JaVale may need to improve in his team awareness but he’s just like any of us and wants to reach a milestone or major accomplishment. I like that the Wizards ran plays for him, rewarding him for his great play with great numbers to match.

  3. mharenza - Mar 18, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    I don’t see much of a problem with it. Hanging on the rim was a bit much, but that was after the fact. Furthermore, if you actually read the Zack Lowe article, he doesn’t really have much of a problem with it either. This might be the only opportunity this kid gets to record a triple double (with block no less), let him go for it. He didn’t do anything outside the standard play of a game either, unlike Ricky Davis and Blatche. If you want to knock anybody, knock the coaches. They called the plays for him. Moreover, the like first commenter said, what is wrong with rewarding a player who is working hard playing team ball?

  4. lebronsinsecurity - Mar 18, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    Not too big of a surprise that I disagree with McHale, but that’s a whole other issue.. As a non-Wizard fan, I don’t see the big deal here with him getting a few late game points to get his triple double. When you have 12 blocks in a game to go with 12 rebounds, the points become a throw in at that point.. 12 Blocks!! That’s unreal, the kid deserves it..

  5. craigw24 - Mar 18, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Let’s admit there is a double standard in our society. When stars do it we applaud – see Lebron James – but when a role player does it we want to find fault. That is on us, not the person involved.

    There are very few triple doubles for front court players and to even come close is really amazing. Let’s just enjoy this one and not try to find fault – pleeeeeese!

  6. smashmouthrb25 - Mar 18, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    the guy had 12 blocks….show me someone else that hustles like that in a game where your team is getting BLOWN OUT and has no chance of making the playoffs and his team has the worst road record in the nba…he had 12 blocks….

  7. goforthanddie - Mar 18, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    The fact he had to scramble for points to get it is impressive. A dozen blocks in one game is ridiculous.

  8. Michael Pina - Mar 18, 2011 at 2:32 PM

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