Why It's Impossible to Look Away from JaVale McGee
It's hard to say whether JaVale McGee has generated more of a following due to his dunks that seem to come from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe or his propensity to re-tweet himself on Twitter.
It could come from his violent blocked shots or the celebratory shenanigans of his alter ego, Pierre. Or perhaps from his ability to run the court like a Roman statue come to life or his tendency to fall down while throwing a pass over the backboard.
No matter how you feel about JaVale McGee, the player or Pierre, the caricature, it is impossible to not have some interest in his basketball career.
McGee's career started out simply enough. He was undoubtedly one of the most athletic big men to enter the league, but he was raw. His upside started to shine through the more minutes he played for the Washington Wizards.
But here we see him running back to play defense while the rest of his team plays offense in a quintessential JaVale McGee moment.
Through it all, the talent was never up for debate.
The dunks were always epic.
Another thing never up for debate? The greatness of his Twitter account.
He has money problems, just like the rest of us.
#weak when u make a million dollars, cash it into quarters, try to dive into it like Scrooge mcduck and break both ur arms!— JaVale McGee (@JaValeMcGee34) November 29, 2011
His tweeting isn't fantastic just by random happenstance, however. He has a strategy, as explained to Nate Kreckman of ESPN Radio's Denver affiliate.
NK: JaVale, explain your tweeting style. You like to always re-tweet yourself and then tweet in all caps. It's very unique. Why do you tweet like that?
JM: I consider myself a trend-setter, so a long time ago I decided, I think it was like a couple months, four months ago, I decided I won't tweet again, so all I'll do is re-tweet. So I technically don't tweet, I just re-tweet. I don't know why I do all-caps. It just looks better to me.
His Instagram account, too, rarely disappoints.
And on YouTube, he stays clever, like the time Pierre shared his favorite pick-up lines.
The 2011 dunk contest at NBA's All-Star Weekend allowed the wider world to understand just how alien-like JaVale's athleticism is. He dunked two balls on two hoops and three balls on one hoop. In a world where it is increasingly hard to show off slams nobody has ever seen before, McGee did just that.
But two months before his time ended in Washington, he threw an alley-oop to himself off the glass on a breakaway, something Coach Flip Saunders called "unacceptable," according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
This was certainly one of the final nails in the coffin for his time in the nation's capital.
Ultimately, his time with the Wizards will be remembered more for its humor than anything else.
Since moving to Denver and signing a $44 million contract, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo!, little has changed. The amazing dunks still come with regularity, like this self-alley-oop against the Houston Rockets.
And this high-flying throwdown over Ian Mahinmi of the Indiana Pacers.
Still, through it all, JaVale remains JaVale, and the humorous on-court failures remain frequent.
In a positive development, the celebrations have become even zanier.
For some reason, pretending to eat food has become his preferred way to express his joy.
He can even entertain from the bench.
And in the greatest move of all, he got a mustache tattooed on his finger.
What's not to love? Crazy dunks, weird celebratory antics, a finger moustache and a more thought-out Twitter strategy than the most cutting-edge social media consultant.
All in a day's work for JaVale McGee.
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