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Quote of the Day: George Karl seriously overestimates JaVale McGee

Mar 20, 2012, 3:27 PM EDT

JaVale McGee AP

“I think he plays a little bit like Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), but he’s a defensive Kareem more than an offensive Kareem. He’s not going to be a power player, but he’s going to be an athletic-length-long player.”

— Nuggets coach George Karl on newly acquired center JaVale McGee, via The Denver Post.

Um, no. No he is not. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was on 11 NBA All Defensive Teams. He averaged 2.6 blocks per game (McGee is at a respectable 1.8). I know the rep on Kareem comes from Airplane — “My dad says you don’t work hard enough on defense” — but he was a quality defensive player.

But here is the real difference between the two: Kareem’s defensive game was smart. Like his offensive game, Kareem was less about overwhelming physical skills — although he had those — but playing smarter than you. He understood what you wanted to do and what your counter was. He was a step ahead of you and your team’s move. On the other side of the scale, we have JaVale McGee. Enough said.

  1. nolanwiffle - Mar 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    ….which is to say…..he’s a bonehead.

  2. llfreedman - Mar 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    As a Wizards fan, I loved McGee for the entertainment value and because he played hard. He was not a smart defender as he would rather chase the block then play good defense. On offense, he had some explosive finishes at the rim but someone desperately needs to teach him how to screen.

    Additionally, it has been remarkable to see the change in demeanor of the Wizards since they traded McGee and Young. The team has a surprisingly serious tone now. Other than the typical Blatche/Crawford moments, the team is almost unrecognizable as Booker, Wall, and Mason Jr. have taken full control of this team.

    Overall, Mcgee provided me a lot of excitement, but was too much of a project for me to miss him. Good luck McGee, wish you nothing but the best!

  3. jek84 - Mar 20, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    JaVale is at 1.8 career blocks but 2.5 for the season, which is what matters today. The kid has years ahead of him to develop and bring his career numbers up. That being said I too find it silly to compare them.

  4. pbanach01 - Mar 20, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    haha besides both being tall and lanky I don’t know where or how Kareem comes into play in George’s quotes. Can always use a good ego boost tho!

  5. bullysix - Mar 20, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    George needs his eyes checked

  6. qdog112 - Mar 20, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    McGee has more physical upside than any player in the NBA. – bar none. He’s still a kid and it will take great guidance and coaching to craft this kid into anything close to his potential. I don’t know if Denver has that person on staff, but if his immaturity prevents you from seeing that underneath the scratched surface, there is something special – well that’s on you. I would love to see him after a couple years with Hakeem.

  7. abchome - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Now I see why Denver fans screaming “Fire George Karl” nearly every year! LOL

  8. mr9teen - Mar 20, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Are we really talking about this. He said he is going to be. Kareem had a long and storied career. McGee is just getting started. Maybe in the right situation with the right coaching he MIGHT make it to where Karl believes he will. I know the comment might be off but he did preface it by saying “going to be”.

  9. 24thesho - Mar 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    McGee is a spoiled brat who is very tall and can really dunk. His mother obviously did not teach him anything about respecting people of authority. He didn’t grow up poor or in a harsh (not that it should matter), his mom was a well known basketball player and obviously told him throughout his life that his sh*t doesn’t stink. He’s was lucky enough to have a mother to play b-ball when was a younger “kid”. Well shall see. To me, McGee is a complete jerk and i find hard to enjoy watching him play; you can see the expression and sense of entitlement from any camera angle. I hope he improves as a player and a person for his sake.

    • 24thesho - Mar 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      I meant to type, ‘we shall see”.

  10. 24thesho - Mar 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    McGee is a spoiled brat who is very tall and can really dunk. His mother obviously did not teach him anything about respecting people of authority. He didn’t grow up poor or in a harsh (not that it should matter), his mom was a well known basketball player and obviously told him throughout his life that his sh*t doesn’t stink. He’s was lucky enough to have a mother to play b-ball when was a younger “kid”. We shall see. To me, McGee is a complete jerk and I find hard to really enjoy watching him play however impressive; you can see his expression and sense of entitlement from any camera angle. I hope he improves as a player and a person for his sake. Wish him the best, though!

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