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Olajuwon thinks JaVale McGee “should dominate the league”

Aug 15, 2012, 1:02 PM EST

JaVale McGee Getty Images

The question has never been the physical talent of JaVale McGee. Back in 2010 he got an extended tryout with Team USA before the World Championships and in workouts with the NBA’s best those guys quietly whispered about McGee’s physical gifts.

But he didn’t make that team. And despite all the potential the Wizards wanted him out of town and shipped him to Denver. He has never lived up to all those gifts.

McGee is trying to tap into that potential by working out with Hall-of-Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon this summer in Houston. And Olajuwon is singing his praises to MyFoxHouston.com.

“No question, I see him as another star,” Olajuwon said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “That guy should dominate the league.

“He has tremendous talent. I give him all these moves and he can finish and he’s already skilled. So now just show him how to use that skill to (get) to the next level.”

There lies the rub. Will McGee — famous for his blooper-reel errors — be able to put these lessons to good use? He has a great coach in George Karl who will put him in good situations to succeed. It feels like this could be a breakout year for McGee. But it has before, too.

It all comes down to McGee and what’s between his ears. The Nuggets have made their bet on him with a new contract, now we’ll see if there is a payoff.

  1. fanz928 - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    I think first he needs to control his brain and his decision making

    • dls612 - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      U hit the mark!!!

  2. 00maltliquor - Aug 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    The Dream is right. McGee could straight up terrorize the NBA on both ends of the floor….if his head was screwed on straight. He has so much going on for him, 7”0, long arms, big hands, HUGE hops, suuuper fast for a man his size, quick second jump…I mean, this guy should be averaging 25/17/6 blks a game, easily.

    Maybe it’s good for the league that he doesn’t got it down cause if he did it almost wouldn’t be fair and there would be a whole bunch of stupid rule changes because of it like Wilt and Shaq.

  3. lakerluver - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Javale definitely has a lot of skills but 25/17/6? I don’t know about that….that would make him one of the greats of all time. I think 18/10/3 could be more realistic.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:10 PM

      Of course that statline is unrealistic but so is his ability. Of course he’ll never average that but if he had a brain and passion to be one of the greats he can do those ridiculous numbers. 18/10/3 is something that wouldn’t be far fetched to see him put up this season, as mentally unfocused as he is.

      Imagine if he had a Jordan/Kobe-like passion for the game and an undying need to prove he is the illest player on the court everytime he steps foot on the hardwood, along with Olajuwon-like skills and hoop-smarts…now combine all that with his hops, length, wingspan, speed and youth and he could be one of the greats of all times and 25/17/6 wouldn’t be so far-fetched.

    • passerby23 - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      That sounds about right. I think he’s got to be able to develop a mid-range jumper and develop a few go-to moves with his back to the basket because you can’t dunk everything. I think he can improve his conditioning as well. If you combine his raw talent with polished offensive skills, he should average 18-20 points a game.

  4. obijuan13 - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    All I know is just don’t upset his Momma!!!

    • 24thesho - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      His mama might be the real problem, actually. I am sure she loves him; as a mother should, but a 6’3″, overbearing stage mother who played b-ball and was a star, and (it seems to me, at least) thinks her kid’s sh*t doesn’t stink could be one of the contributing factors to his maturing development, but I think he’ll start to get “it” sooner under coach George Carl’s guidance. A raw talent, for sure.

    • eugenesaxe - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      Pam should shut up and realize he’s soft between the ears. Tell him to get his head out of his rectum and FOCUS.

  5. papichulo55 - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Cant wait to see what Coach Karl will do with the additions of McGee and A.I. and a full training camp. Probably buy the League Pass just to see more of the Nuggets!

  6. khadeemw - Aug 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    I might catch some flak for saying this, but McGee is the most gifted center in the NBA. He is athletic, quick, and has got stronger each year. I have seen McGee connect consistently on a sky hooks, sweeping layups, and reverse dunks that caught my attention. All McGee needs is a better understanding of the game and organization that believes in him. In Denver he will coached by one of the best teachers of the game in George Karl. I think hes never been coached by a teacher of the game before. Flip Saunders is a joke, but that is beside the point. McGee can and I believe he will surprise the league.

    • guyaneserj - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:22 PM

      100% agree! I knew it wasn’t a possibility, but I was praying that the Heat! B4 anyone chimes in, I already know it’s NOT an option, but hey, I’m allowed to dream right?

  7. raidmagic - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    All he needs is a real coach. Had he been in Orlando with SVG he would be an all star now. Howard was useless when Brian Hill was there an came into his own as a defensive force when Van Gundy got ahold of him. I’m not saying he could be Howard right now but he certainly would be in the discussion of top centers in the league if he had the right coaching.

  8. unxpexted1 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    He definitely has the tools to be something serious. I know Anthony Davis has a lot of upside but to me I think Javale Mcgee has a higher ceiling than Davis and can truly be the next franchise senter in the league.

    • 24thesho - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      Center, right?

      • unxpexted1 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:23 PM

        yea you know what i meant.

  9. eventhorizon04 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Physical tools, long-term stability (multi-year deal with the Nuggets), equal-opportunity team (no superstars demanding all the touches), and a respected coach.

    McGee is literally in the best environment for a young guy with a ton of potential. It’s up to him to put it all together.

    • mnsportsfan - Aug 15, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      Might as well throw in veteran leadership with Andre Miller and newly acquired Iguodala.

  10. manchestermiracle - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Way back in the day when I was learning to fly I heard all kinds of stories about people who had the physical skill to control an airplane (it isn’t really that difficult) but frightened their instructors with an obvious lack of sound judgment. I’m sure everyone’s seen drivers like that on the road. The difference between driving and flying is similar to the difference between being a sensation in the gym and succeeding at the NBA level. Sometimes good judgment can be taught, but usually that sort of learning curve has to start pretty early in life.

  11. marksp18 - Aug 16, 2012 at 5:36 AM

    My aunt could be my uncle if she had an operation. But she is not. Thankfully.

    McGee needs to do it first before anyone claims how good he is. Let him put up a good top 5 season as a center before some of you crown his arse. And then he needs to do it again.

    Check Kareem’s stats when he came into the league .

    In 1969-70 (his first year) he averaged 28.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists.
    In 1970-71 he averaged 31.7 points, 16.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists.
    In 1971-72 he averaged 34.8 points, 16.6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists.
    In 1972-73 he averaged 30.2 points, 16.1 rebounds, and 5.0 assists.

    I could go on but this is enough.

    The day JaVale McGee has even one season with numbers even close to that is the day my aunt becomes my uncle!

    • hannsta - Aug 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      The day anyone in the league has numbers close to that your arguement is valid. Until then comparing anyone to one of the best of all time, and saying hes not good until he is the same as that, is a pretty silly arguement.

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