Prior to his back-to-back championship seasons with the Golden State Warriors, JaVale McGee was largely known in NBA circles for his occasional humorous foibles on the court. He was featured so prominently on the blooper show, "Shaqtin' a Fool" that it between McGee and NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, who hosts the show.
On Wednesday night, however, McGee was the one doing the fooling. In the third quarter of the Lakers' 126-93 preseason win over his former team, McGee busted out one of the most clever, entertaining acts of subterfuge we've seen in sports. After getting his leg tangled up with Warriors forward Alfonzo McKinnie, McGee began hobbling out of bounds as if he was seriously injured.
But wait, what's this? Just seconds later, McGee emerged from out of bounds to find himself wide-open underneath the basket. Anthony Davis quickly assisted him under the basket for an easy dunk, and the most exciting two points of the entire preseason.
At first I thought this was a designed play because it was the first possession of the third quarter and the beaming smiles on the faces of Davis and McGee following the basket. But upon closer inspection, McGee really does seem to get banged up when he runs into McKinnie, meaning that the rest of the play was pure basketball instinct. Truly remarkable.
Ironically it was Draymond Green's incredible basketball instincts that got him in trouble. He senses that McGee is out of the play due to injury and immediately goes to double-team Davis on the perimeter, which seems logical. Little did he know that McGee was one step ahead.
This play goes right up there with Muhammad Ali's rope-a-dope, the Philly Special and that high school football play where one of the linemen gets on all fours and starts barking like a dog. JaVale McGee, we salute you.