2x NBA Champion JaVale McGee was not a core member of the Warriors. In fact, he was seen as dispensable by some. Nonetheless, he played his role and played it well — helping contribute to Golden State’s unprecedented success.
So when he went to the Lakers in the summer of 2018, he was hoping for a more polished role in their rotation.
Throughout the season he was granted his wish, averaging over 22 minutes per game — the most since 2012. Even now that the Lakers signed Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard, he isn’t willing to just give all of that up.
In a chat with Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, McGee made it clear that he expects a starting role for the Lakers this upcoming season.
“I started last year, so I wouldn’t expect anything less,” McGee said. “But it’s definitely not up to me, it’s up to the coach, but I don’t plan on showing him anything other than that I’m the starting center for the Lakers.”
Fortunately, JaVale isn’t just going to fall into his role again. He will work and prove he should continue to start. Last season, he averaged 12 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game.
His biggest threat this season is Dwight Howard, a player who has struggled to stay in the rotation of his past few teams. He’s got a huge chip on his shoulder this season, but also a very short leash.
For now, JaVale doesn’t have too much to sweat about.