NBA Champion Explains What He Didn’t Like About His Winning Years at Golden State Warriors Compared to Los Angeles Lakers

Published 09/15/2021, 10:49 PM EDT
Aug 24, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates after scoring a three pointer with center JaVale McGee (7) and forward Anthony Davis (3) in the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers in game four of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


JaVale McGee is a three-time NBA champion. He has had an illustrious career with a total of 9 teams in 13 years in the NBA. He won championships with the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers. While most people can only dream of playing with both Stephen Curry and LeBron James, McGee has lived that dream. Recently, JaVale admitted who he enjoyed playing with more.

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However, on Club Shay Shay’s most recent episode, he clarified how they widely misunderstood his response. He said, “My answer was I enjoyed playing with LeBron the first year I was on the Lakers but they just they cut off the first year. They just said he enjoyed playing with LeBron and then you know clickbait.”

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Considering the fact that they won the championship in his second year, that answer raises a few eyebrows. Looking at LeBron’s assist numbers, nobody should have a problem with him as a teammate. Then why did JaVale only enjoy his first year? Here’s what he had to say about that.

JaVale admits he only enjoyed his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers

On Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay, JaVale wished to clarify how the media misreported his response. He said, “But I enjoyed playing with LeBron the first year on the Lakers because I was the starting center. I had the highest, I had my career-high 30 and 20 game. And I had scored I had a career-high in points that year. So enjoyment, yes I enjoyed succeeding.”

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JaVale McGee felt that since he was much more involved as a starter in his first year at the Lakers, he completed more of his personal goals in his first year. Hence, he ‘enjoyed’ more then.

Sep 22, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles the ball against Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee (7) during the first half of game three of the Western Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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He further added, “I didn’t enjoy not playing a lot in Golden State, but I enjoyed winning. I enjoyed hanging out with those guys. I enjoyed playing. But you have, everybody has that selfish bone where everybody were like I want to succeed too.”

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So JaVale did not really have anything against the way LeBron‘s game changed from 2019 to the 2020 season. But he simply clarified that the circumstances caused him to personally prefer his first year more than the championship year. Since JaVale was not the starter in 2020 and Anthony Davis was, his changed role was the reason he preferred his first year. Furthermore, he became third fiddle after they also brought Dwight Howard on that year.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

229 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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