The Los Angeles Lakers kept just six players from the 2018-19 NBA season, making very necessary improvements that put the team in immediate championship contention.
One of those six players from last season’s 37-45 team was JaVale McGee.
Throughout McGee’s career, he had always been seen as somewhat of a joke. While the 31-year-old was a talented center, his frequent appearances on “Shaqtin’ a Fool” decreased his value. However, he had somewhat of a resurgence in his first season with the Lakers as he saw a career-high in points.
Because of this, McGee would have every right to feel like he still deserves to be this team’s starting center but at the end of the day, he’ll respect whatever decision head coach Frank Vogel makes, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Yeah, I’ve thought of my role. I mean, I started last year so I wouldn’t expect anything less. But you know, it’s definitely not up to me, it’s up to the coach. But I don’t plan on showing him anything other than I’m the starting center for the Lakers.”
The team’s other option would be Dwight Howard, who was signed as DeMarcus Cousins‘ replacement. Howard, who signed a non-guaranteed deal with them in August, looks like he’s ready for a resurgence of his own. While still believing he should start, McGee loves the move for the team as there’s always a good big man on the court:
“I feel like he’s [Dwight Howard] gonna fit great. I feel like we have similar games and the fact that we can have a one-two punch right after each other, coming in after each other. I don’t think that’s gonna look good for other teams at all.”
Whoever ends up starting will make somewhat of a formidable one-two punch as McGee stated. The two are different as Howard’s game revolves more around defense, but they have many similarities that make them interchangeable during a game.
The likeliest situation is that both of them are off the court in crunch time, making way for Anthony Davis to play at center with a potential lineup that includes Avery Bradley, Danny Green, LeBron James, and Kyle Kuzma.
It’s good to see McGee feel confident in his game after last season’s strong play. He’s gone through a lot in this league, and it seems he’s finally getting the respect he deserves as a player.