Former Laker JaVale McGee stays connected to region through charity work

JaVale McGee has never been a fan of labels – he’d rather not be so confined.

Rim protector? How about perimeter defender? One of the lasting sequences of his recent postseason with the Phoenix Suns is squaring up against Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic near the 3-point line, swiping the ball from the first-team All-NBA guard and cruising coast-to-coast for an easy finish over Jalen Brunson.

While the Suns’ second-round series against the Mavericks didn’t go the way they wanted in seven games, McGee will always have that steal-and-score for his career sizzle reel.

“That got a lot of reaction,” McGee said in an interview with Southern California News Group. “I think it really displayed the fact that I’m an agile big – I don’t think the center position has (negatively) affected the game as much as people think.”

McGee, 34, is likely in the final years of his career, but he still manages to surprise. His two-year tenure with the Lakers, during which he was a member of their 2020 championship team, is a vital chapter in his career reinvention: A consistent target of “Shaqtin’ a Fool” as a younger player, he has emerged as a valuable role-playing big and amiable locker room presence on teams that win.

He’s played on title teams with the Lakers and Golden State Warriors, as well as a pair of high-seeded Phoenix teams the past two years, making another trip to the NBA Finals in 2021. This past season, McGee played in 74 games, averaging 9.2 points and 6.7 rebounds, for the Suns who set a new franchise record for wins (64) in a season: “Our season didn’t end up the way we wanted to end, but I still had a blast with the guys on that team.”

McGee’s legacy in his markets also stretches to his off-the-court work: …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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