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JaVale McGee trying to adjust to benching

Mar 1, 2012, 6:24 PM EDT

JaVale Planking Freezer

The Washington Post’s Michael Lee has the report:

After he bit on a pump fake, left his feet and fouled Milwaukee center Drew Gooden on a three-pointer with one second left in the first half on Tuesday, JaVale McGee had to wait nearly 29 minutes of game action before he got the chance to play again for the Wizards…

…[Wizards coach Randy Wittman]

He benched McGee for the rest of the second half, then put Kevin Seraphin in at starting center against the Orlando Magic. McGee scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds in a season-low 16 minutes in the Wizards’ 102-95 loss on Wednesday. But McGee still doesn’t know what he is supposed to learn from this experience yet.

“I can’t say I do, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out sooner or later,” McGee said after the game.

McGee said he was “frustrated” after the Magic game, when he played a season-low 16 minutes, and that what Randy Wittman said to him and shooting guard Nick Young (who has also been benched) after the game was “between him and the coach.”

McGee is ultra-talented, but his lack of maturity has prevented him from having the kind of positive impact on the Wizards that a player with his gifts should have. Hopefully Wittman’s tactics with McGee will serve as a wake-up call for him, but you never know with JaVale.

  1. sellahh - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    “McGee is ultra-talented”
    Yeah and ultra-dumb as well. Dumbest starting frontcourt ever with McGee and Blatche? Who knows. Wizs should trade for Martell Webster and start advertising their games as circus events.

    • stadix093 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:45 PM

      Thank you for the laugh. I will never forget during the Olympic scrimmage when Lamar Odom said this kid has to learn this game is called basketball, not run and jump.

      • kinggw - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:01 PM

        Yeah, crybaby Lamar Odom is a bastion of character from which we all should learn. Remember he had his growing pains and he had to leave a dysfunctional franchise before he met his potential.

        McGee is a bit immature, but most of his problems stem from bad coaching and organizational dysfunction. In particular I blame Ernie Grunfeld. First of all, Blatche, Young, and McGee all saw Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler run Eddie Jordan out of town. Grunfeld could have sent a powerful message by siding with Jordan. He caved and went with the players. Instead of hiring a disciplinarian to right the ship, Grunfeld hires Flip Saunders who the Pistons started to tune out towards the end of his tenure. Flip never had control of the team and it showed. Now they have Wittman who is the ultimate hard ass.

        The players are a lot of things, but contrary to the first poster they aren’t stupid. Young and McGee are on one year deals. They know they probably wont be back, they also know that Wittman wont be there next year. I dont excuse lackluster effort, deliberately disregarding your coaches instructions and playing for yourself which all of the aforementioned players are guilty of at times. That being said these players are a product of their environment. The Wizards have nobody else but themselves to blame and will be kicking themselves when these guys are contributors for playoff teams.

  2. goforthanddie - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    I love that the Wiz are willing to suck to rebuild the right way. My question is, when does the rebuilding start? Biatche is a lost cause and has been; Young is a chucker. McGee doesn’t get it, but he’s less replaceable than the other two, and worth keeping IF he gets on board. The front office needs to change a lot more than just the coach; maybe the front office is where change is needed the most.

  3. bdbd20 - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Tough situation. Blatche, Young, and McGee were brought in with the idea that a strong veteran presence (Areanas, Butler, Stevenson, Jamison, Daniels, Haywood, Thomas) would allow them to develop slowly. Obviously things have changed and they are now being counted upon to contribute. They will be shipped out as soon as Ernie finds a buyer.

    I thought McGee might be a keeper, but his bad habits haven’t gone away. Too bad, the kid is an athletic freak.

  4. seanb20124 - Mar 2, 2012 at 6:32 AM

    Leonsis wants to build through the draft, just like he rebuilt the Capitals.

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