I, for one have had the fuck inspired out of me by the sudden, almost impossible-to-fathom career resurrection of basketball’s version of “Dumb and Dumber”, Andray Blatche and Javale McGee.
How exactly do the two biggest headcases in the entire NBA, both of whom happen to have played on the same team for almost four years, end up valuable contributors to their respective new teams almost immediately after finding their way out of the dead end situation they helped create in Washington? Find me some sort of computer geek statistical formula that makes any sense out of this, I dare you.
But first, I present Andray’s greatest hits, with links.
-The great prostitute caper.
–Lapdance tuesdays, starring Andray Blatche!
And the mother of all Andray Blatche stories: The greatest triple double that never was.
So really, sit on down here and explain to me how Andray Blatche, all 275 gooey pounds of him (as of last year), goes from, well, that to a super-prodcutive, low-cost model citizen in Brooklyn? Sure, it could be your garden-variety “immature talent gets humbled, has an awakening” type of deal but let’s be real here, we’re talking about Andray Fucking Blatche. There has to be a greater, more mysterious force at work here. You might be able to convince me that Avery Johnson has become the father figure Blatche never had or Jerry Stackhouse has all the Nets’ whippersnappers on the right path or whatever, but that doesn’t explain sufficiently how a shoot first, shoot second, pass never, living embodiment of how not to play basketball has become an efficient, even spectacular perfomer less than a year after being sent home by the Wizards because he had a big ass and no fucking clue what it takes to be professional basketball player.
You know who leads the Nets in PER (player efficiency rating, y’all)? Blatche does. You know who is averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds a game on 55% shooting since he took the injured Brook Lopez’ place in the starting lineup? Blatche has. Any guess who might be one of the league’s best bargains (Blatche is making the league minimum this year) after being so useless for so long, the Wizards paid him the 30 million dollars they owed him just to make him go away?
You got it.
There might be the chance that Blatche is playing good boy for this year, so that some poor sucker might get roped into giving him another big contract, only for him to morph back into 7 day Dray and shit. There’s also the chance that the light has switched on for him, even though the instances of NBA players hitting their mental puberty 8 seasons in are hard to come by.
For now, he looks like not only a comeback story, but maybe the longest of the longshots paying off, the proverbial one-in-a-million blind man finding his way home. I could say stranger things have happened, but I’d be lying.
What about Javale?
Yeah, he might still be good for at least one ridiculous, unwieldy, “Javale” moment per game. He might not never, ever put that shit behind him.
That’s always been the story with dude. Grab 15 rebounds and finish lobs one night, do this crazy shit the next. The same Tazmanian Devil wiring that makes him a blur of activity and intensity also renders him a braindead, runaway train on a basketball court, and the most entertaining (not in the way he’d like to be, I’m sure) player in a league that is loaded with them. Probably gonna be like that ’til the day he hangs up. It’s Just Javale being Javale. He’s reached adjective, verb and noun status these days, and he earned it like a motherfucker, one laugh at a time.
Still, alot like Blatche, McGee might be proving that he can be a horrible boil on the ass of a shitty, going-nowhere team but a valuable weapon on a good one. When the Nuggets traded Nene and his hefty contract for Javale (and his badass Mom to boot) even though he was three months away from Free Agency, they were banking on having enough time with him to see if he could be molded into something resembling a productive team player, and if so, retain him at a reasonable price in relation to the potential he’s got trapped in that explosive, impossibly long body of his.
They’ve been right on both counts so far.
George Karl is smarter than the average Bear, so much so that he decided to put the training wheels on McGee and bring him along as slowly as would be possible for a player they just gave a 44 million dollar contract. Yeah, they thought enough of would he could be to give him that kind of loot, but in the meantime they’ve got him backing up Kosta Koufas at Center and playing a paltry 19 minutes a game. Oh yeah, he’s leading his team is PER too, getting 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks a game, in part because he’s likely being told to go out there in short spurts and play ’til he drops. Yeah, you might ask why he doesn’t play for longer stretches given his productivity, but then you would be both questioning the wisdom of George Karl AND forgetting that we are still talking about Javale McGee here. Bigger plans lie ahead, I’m sure. I mean, if anyone can strip Javale McGee of his habits and maybe just maybe, turn him into an all-star, I’d say Karl is a safe bet. For now, they’ll make him earn every minute he gets and take the good with the bad.
Still, let us not forget the plot. Javale McGee and Andray Blatche are productive NBA players now. The thought of that is kind of fucking crazy, so I’m not gonna push my luck wishing for anymore than they’ve given. Let’s all just sit back and marvel at the act of God or whatever diabolical force is responsible for it, and find some new whipping boys.
Javale and Andray are all growns up now.