George Karl on JaVale McGee: 'Lazy and Crazy' Won't Work in the NBA

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2013

George Karl has a very simple request for what he wants from his constantly confusing center JaVale McGee: All he wants is for McGee to a little bit less unpredictable and a little bit more stable and consistent.

Karl has been working with McGee for about a year now, and the big, goofy center has shown improvement, but not on the scale that his four-year, $44 million contract would suggest.

McGee himself realizes that he needs to make an advancement or two, and he's doing his best to keep his head up while doing so, according to the Denver Post: "I'm just trying to...make sure that we win games. It's definitely a blessing, being on a winning team. As long as we win, I can't feel any (negative) way about it."

The most recent request from Karl is a very reasonable thought, and it might be something McGee has the ability to live up to.

He's got to understand that lazy and crazy isn't going to make it work. We want solid and we want fundamental, and we want spectacular but only when it happens, not forcing the action where sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't.

This request comes in the wake of a much more ridiculous request made by Karl, one that seemed to be a bit of a joke at the time. Per the Washington Post:

For me, I just want him to be more consistent on the fundamental area of basketball and more than anything, I want him to be more committed to the concepts and philosophies and fundamentals of our team.

I think he tries to be spectacular. Basketball is a game of possession after possession of doing things the right way, doing your job and letting the spectacular come. I think JaVale tries to find the spectacular and forces the spectacular when if you just let Andre Miller and Ty [Lawson], let us orchestrate the game, something big time will happen. But I just want him to be more Tim Duncan-like. I tell him I like Tim Duncan. I want Tim Duncan. That’s what I want.

Of course, the notion that he wants more Tim Duncan and a little bit less McGee makes a ton of sense. McGee's game is predicated on the fact that he's a very talented athlete and he has a plethora of skills on the court, he just doesn't make the best decisions. 

Meanwhile, somebody like Duncan has gotten to a point where he's slower than most of the other players at his position, he can't jump as high, or get around other players as quickly and efficiently as he once could, but he's continued to be one of the league's best big men.

When you dig past the surface, Karl's original request was leading to his more recent thought process: He wants McGee to make more sound decisions, and in the process become a more fundamental and methodical player.

That's definitely a reasonable request. McGee needs to do a better job of limiting his making dumb mistakes, and become a student of the game.