One of the most entertaining pieces of television is Shaqtin’ A Fool. With full fledged commentary by Shaquille O’Neal, it highlights NBA players, millionaires many times over, as they make hilarious on the court mistakes you often see third graders make. It is hilarious when the ball bounces off of someone’s head or when a player takes ten steps and isn’t called for traveling or when JaVale McGee takes the ball out of bounds after his team makes a free throw. It is good for a five second laugh and then it is over. NBA humor. Or is it NBA humiliation?
JaVale McGee has his personal lowlight reel displayed on Shaqtin’ A Fool. A lot of players are on Shaqtin’ A Fool repeatedly. Swaggy P makes a bi-monthly appearance with his celebration after a missed shot and his cluelessness on defense and Swaggy being Swaggy. But because all Swag is good, Nick Young takes it in stride. He has the ability to laugh at himself. When we laugh, he laughs, all the way to bank.
But JaVale McGee isn’t as let it roll off my chin like drops of rainwater like Nick Young. The barbs and comedy affect him to the point of humiliation and embarrassment. Yes, it is him doing those things on the court. No, he is not doing it on purpose. Yes, after the 20th time on Shaqtin’ A Fool it is tiresome. Frankly, all JaVale McGee is known for are his brain freezes and flubs and mess ups. On public courts in urban neighborhoods you will hear this: yo dude you having a JaVale moment straight up.
You can’t unring the bell but the Warriors are trying.
The Warriors say they are sick of the entire premise, and yet, when McGee has one of his what?? moments, the camera pans to the Warriors bench and there they are all laughing just like us. So who is kidding who here? There is hypocrisy all the way around.
This reached crazy territory when McGee, who is fed up with all the Shaq crime, went to Twitter and said so. In lashing out he did what the tough never do: he revealed his weak spot. Shaq now knows he is in McGee’s head. The back and forth took an ugly turn when Shaq came at McGhee hard.
I’ll smack the s**t out yo bum ass u da one that be looking stupid with your dumb ass #bumass
He wasn’t finished.
Now since you on a good team u wanna act like you a player now stop it u will only be remembered for shaqtin a fool #bumass
The parting Shaq words are the tipping point for all this hyper sensitivity. To many a NBA fan that is what JaVale McGee is known for, being stupid on the court, the butt of jokes, an afterthought or embarrassment. Having a JaVale McGee moment is a code word for stupid, stupid, stupid.
McGee responded back to Shaq with: oh we threatening people now? Kick rocks you old bastard…you ain’t going do shi**!! And that’s on my mama. Stick to cooning!
That last blast, a racial black on black drive by, calling out Shaq’s identity and loyalty as a black man, implying he is the white man’s puppet, is one of those boundaries you don’t cross unless you are trying to incite something far bigger than typing on your phone. No black man would be amused and neither was Shaq, basically saying don’t write a check your a** can’t cash.
We gonna see how tough you are when I see yo ass.
McGee shot back which caused Shaq to photoshop and diss him even further. This all makes his beef with Kobe look like kindergarten. That was all rumors. You never actually saw them exchange words in public.
The Warriors are trying to protect McGee by talking with brass at Turner about Shaq but it feels like they are trying to fight his battles for him. Shaq will stop when JaVale stops. Telling Turner to make Shaq stop being so mean, blah, blah sounds like elementary school whining. McGee needs to mature and just let it roll off. Shaq is being paid to use players for his humor. McGee is helping him do that. So own it. Have fun with it at Shaq’s expense. Whining though sounds weak.
Steve Kerr got involved.
“JaVale has been fantastic for us as a player, as a teammate. He’s a total pro. I don’t blame him for being frustrated that Shaq’s been picking on him for years and years and years. I think that JaVale, rightly so, probably gets frustrated. It never ends.”
I am sure Shaq would say, want it to end? Then stop doing stupid stuff. Kerr disagrees.
“I can tell you I had a preconceived notion of JaVale before he got here that turned out to be totally false. A lot of that had to do with what goes on with Shaq’s ‘Shaqtin A fool’. ”
Really? With all the game tape you are privy to, all the scouting reports, a 4 minute segment influenced your opinion? You never saw JaVale’s moment in the spotlight, his Game 5 against the Lakers in 2012, 21 points, 14 rebounds?
Durant also chimed in with his defense of McGee, pointing out NBA players are not perfect and their flaws should not be held up to scrutiny which is a roundabout way of saying the same thing LeBron James uttered about Charles Barkley. Don’t criticize me. Only talk about how great I am all the time.
Fair or unfair, the high viewership of Inside the NBA is because Shaq, Kenny, Charles talk the same kind of talk you hear in the barbershop. There is a lot of throwing shade. It makes it seem like you are witnessing a private conversation in the man cave at your boys crib. The problem is that in the barbershop the recipient of the joke isn’t there. Television doesn’t provide that privacy cover.
Players in the NBA must develop mental toughness as well as being athletically gifted. They have to forget who is saying what and concentrate on their team and game.
Shaq has no bearing on JaVale McGee getting close to his first NBA championship ring. Shaq has four of them. He is one of the top 5 big men in NBA history. When he sees McGee he sees a big man who isn’t holding up his end of the bargain. It pisses him off. But McGee is right. Shaq is old.
Still Shaq has the power of the media. Shaq has never met a fight he didn’t want to finish. Can JaVale McGee say the same?
photo via llananba