Oct 31, 2011, 1:57 PM EDT
Last summer, while NBA big men were dropping like flies, Wizards center JaVale McGee came close to being part of the Team USA squad that won gold at the FIBA World Championships. But he didn’t make the cut, Tyson Chandler did.
However, if McGee were on the Philippines national team, he would be the best player — by a long shot — and make them more of a threat in a relatively weak reagion. That is one basketball crazy in that country (remember the exhibition tour this summer) so for him to play for the national would make him a big star in the Asian market.
If everything falls into place, Smart Gilas Pilipinas will have the Washington Wizards’ seven-foot center JaVale McGee as naturalized player for the next FIBA Asia championship.
McGee had been in the country twice in the last four months and, in his last visit, expressed willingness to be part of the Philippine team vying for a slot in the 2014 World Championship.
The Philippines team recently came in fourth at the Asia Championships and Olympic qualifying tournament, behind China (the winner), Jordan and Korea. That did not get them a berth in the Olympics. Part of their challenge was matching up with the size of other teams, guys like Yi Jianglian of China.
McGee doesn’t bring a reliable midrange game or the basketball IQ that tends to thrive in international ball. But what he does bring is more size and athleticism than anyone he will face in those tournaments, so he could have big games in the paint. They just better not expect it every game from him. Just ask the Wizards.
- Report: Don’t be so sure on Anthony Bennett to Philadelphia rumors 6
- Report: Nike gets chance to match 10-year, $265 million offer to Kevin Durant from Under Armour 8
- Should NBA coaches get NFL style challenge flags? 18
- Report: Suns discussing trade possibilities for Eric Bledsoe 28
- Report: Sixers may look to trade for Amar’e Stoudemire at this season’s deadline 32
- Kevin Durant reiterates that rest was his reason for withdrawing from Team USA 9
- Kobe Bryant says he will not be same player as before, says he’s evolved into something equally good 25
- Report: Agent for Greg Monroe pursued sign-and-trade deals with five teams, including Thunder and Blazers 26