Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 1/16/12

Wizards big man JaVale McGee was benched Monday for throwing himself an alley-oop in the third quarter of his team’s loss to the Rockets. I’m not sure why it’s so hard for McGee to understand that showboating on a 1-12 team is a bad idea, but he doesn’t seem to get it.

“Apparently, if you get a fastbreak & throw it off backboard in the 3rdQ & you’re 1-11, you’re not supposed to do stuff like that,” he said after the game.

Given everything McGee did to get a triple-double last March, this video doesn’t surprise me. It’s not like throwing yourself an alley-oop is an egregious offense to the basketball gods, but when you’re just struggling to get wins, settling for the high-percentage dunk is probably the smarter move.

Chest bump Eye on Basketball

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  • Personally, I don't see what the big deal is, but the coach calls it so that's the way it is.
  • He doesn't get it because the NBA has been about nothing BUT showboating for the past fifty years. He's asking, "Why change the standards for a single person in a single instance?" And you know what? He's right.
  • I applaud Coach Saunders for benching McGee. So many of these over-paid inflated egos have lost sight of the fact that whether it's basketball, football, whatever...it's a TEAM sport. I'm sick and tired of watching these bozos posture for the spotlight when they get paid millions simply for being able to jump off the floor and put a ball through a hoop, and we "Average Joes" who ultimately pay their salary can barely afford the price of a ticket to watch their ridiculous antics.
  • Are you serious??? Your jealousy boils over and it's an ugly thing. Us "Average Joes" pay big money to see above average human accomplishments. You know "jumping off of the floor and putting a ball through a hoop"...as if you can even jump, let alone make it through the hoop. Thus, as long as these athletes are getting paid millions they had better put on a a great freaking show. Becuase when I drop hundreds for tickets (regardless of the sport) I fully expect to be completely entertained even if my team were 1-11. At least he gave his fans something to cheer about. Far more then Good Ole Coach Saunders is giving the fans.....
  • As far as I'm concerned, if they're actually winning, then these idiots can showboat as much as they want. But if they're not winning the showboating isn't going to put me in the seats at the arena, period. Showboating on a 1-11 team is pathetic and truly meaningless, and it may well be part of the problem, not the freakin' cure...you imbecile.
  • you are just mad you cant do that.
  • I had to reply to this comment and I usually leave these alone. You should take a step back and reread what you wrote. You sound as though you are a jealous and disgruntled member of the working class. I am a ballplayer as well and while I did not make it to the NBA I am by no means envious of those that do. SPORTS is ENTERTAINMENT. It has grown into a BRAND. You will hear this term tossed around frequently. This is also a CAPITALIST society and is driven by "Supply and Demand". No one forces the "Average Joes" to watch the game, they do it by choice. If the atheletes do not make a portion of the revenues that they generate, who gets to pocket it? They did that when they were in college and this is not the NCAA. If a team has a losing record, the least the guys can do is pack the stands. Dunks are probably the most exciting part of the game, it generates excitement, can create a psychological edge, build momentum, etc. Why then sponsor the Dunk Contest at the AllStar weekend and not just still to the fundamentals. I don't see a Layup Contest, do you? Let's be real before we start castigating the atheletes. The game has changed and it's like going to see a good movie to relax. Yes we hope that our teams are competitive and make it to the finals, however, that is not always the case. Flip Saunders acted impulsively and it was a knee-jerk reaction to his own possible shortcomings in having his team ready to play every night on a competitive basis. It might not all be his fault but he has now humiliated and alienated one of his young stars. Would he have done the same to LeBron, D-Wade, Kobe, or the numerous others that have done similar dunks in a game. Home many times has Vince Carter, aka "Air Canada" lit up the arenas with his aerial displays? Like they say, "C'MON MAN!!!".
  • Couple of errors in there, should have proofread before I hit send. Nonetheless, "still to the fundamentals" should have read "stick to..." and "Home many times..." should have read "How many...".
  • @drock1 very well said. These so called "purists" tickle me with their disdain for anything that might be considered flashy. To me, there's nothing interesting about sports without the flashiness. Why shouldn't a guy be allowed to celebrate after crossing the goal line with the football? It's very hard to carry the ball the length of the field when 11 very large men from the other team are trying to keep you from doing so. When you finally make it to the goal line, you should be allowed to celebrate the accompishment. Who cares if the guy threw the ball off of the backboard before he dunked it?! As long as it went in, that's all that we should be concerned with. I can understand if the guy was being benched for missing the dunk but this typical of the Bullets for benching a player for making a basket. Who in thier right mind would ever go to a game to watch a bunch of guys standing around wearing shorts missing layups and mid ranged jumpers? Where's the entertainment value in that? yes, I agree with everything that you just said.
  • I completely agree with what your are saying.

    Frankly, that is exactly what the NBA brand has become, and I don't like it. I have not been to an NBA game in about 15 years. They don't miss me at all and I don't miss them.

    McGee has every right to be a tool, and if that entertains the crowd, great. But the Wizards are a one win team, and they will continue to be a bad, losing team with knuckleheads like McGee. If the brand alone fills the stands, great. But I think, and hope, winning has something to do with it too. I just don't think they will ever will with idiots like McGee.
  • I get paid to do a job every day. Everytime I do that job I don't brag, showboat, celebrate, or disrespect others that do the same job I do. When MY COWORKERS do a great job WE CELEBRATE AS A TEAM. Not draw attention to one person doing something mediocre.
  • your a softy the whole world is soft. All this crying over a dam dunk. wow! Working at a warehouse and playing b-ball is 2 different mechanism of competition. no brainer
  • Yes I work in a factory. it does not take away from the fact that drawing attention to yourself has and will always be a detriment to everything you do in life. When you say "Look at me!" everyone does. when you do win thats what your supposed to do. when you showboat while losing you always get the attention drawn for everything you ever do. More so when you lose and draw attention to yourself. I'm not denying his athletic ability(I can't dunk), but be thankful for what you have and celabrate that ability in the locker room with teamates after a win.
  • Wow your just like the millions around the world going soft this guy is an above average person who happens to be a great athlete that can do these amazing baskets. i beleive in all sports there should be lots of showboating. its just part of competition its time for this country to man up and stop crying over baby things.
  • Well Shaggie, all the dorks responding to your comment thus far are evidence of EVRYTHING that is wrong with this country. It's the triumph of STYLE over SUBSTANCE. You're all WRONG! Flashiness for the sake of flashiness does not create excitement. When an athlete absolutely has to make a spectacular play, and does so, THAT generates excitement. When an athlete takes a ho-hum fast break and tries to turn it into a clip for his personal highlight reel, instead of just making his point and getting back up the court, he shows disregard for the team. The jerk with the point about running the length of the field with eleven men trying to stop you: where does that end? What about the one man who makes a tackle on one man while ten other men try to block for him? Does he get to celebrate every tackle? If the running back makes a tough three yard gain does he get to celebrate his three yard gain? What if the three yard gain was from the two yard line? Does the defense get to clebrate the fact that the running back only got a three yard gain? Should we have multiple celebrations on both sides of the ball on every play? Maybe we could have 11 private "party squares" on each side of the field so everyone could go stand in one after each play and celebrate his own private victory. As if games aren't already long enough with all the commercial BS that goes with them. HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE. The object of the game is to win. If your team didn't, it matters NOT how many highlight plays you made. You're still a LOSER. You want to see FLASH and HOTDOGGING and SHOWBOATING? Go to the freakin' circus (or a Globetrotters game). That's what THEY are supposed to do.
  • You have your opinion. I have mine. Fortunately, neither of us get to have the final say in this. I would never go as far as saying that your opinion is what is wrong with this country. The fact that we can both openly express our opinions is what is right with this country.
    To directly address your comments, no, I don't expect every football player to celebrate every accomplishment on the field but if a player chooses to celebrate, I see nothing wrong with that. Yes, some might look silly celebrating a minor accomplishment but that says more about that person than anything else. You have to remember that you don't know what's going inside these guys'
    heads. Yes, I believe a guy should celebrate if he makes a tackle - especially if he was bagging groceries at the local supermarket the week before and he didn't think he'd ever get the opportunity to play a down in the NFL. To him, that's a major accomplishment. You see, it's easy to sit on your couch and pass judgement against someone you've never met and don't know thier story. So yes, I don't mind a little bit of flash or hotdogging because in the end, it's still just a game. There's a term that identifies when an individual has an opinion or viewpoint that they feel should be impossed on everyone else: it's "self righteousness". Maybe you didn't mean to come across that way in your post but it sure sounds that way.
  • Each professional sport is mere entertainment for us "average joes" out there. No different than Tom Cruise getting paid 25 million for acting. McGee should do it again if he gets the chance too. By the way it's only a TEAM sport where your a teenager, quit hating because you were always picked last for kick ball. I hate when people say "WE" pay their salary for any job, that's how the economy works WE all pay for someone's salary, I pay your salary so be quite.
  • that dunks no worser than their record, flip sux anyway
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • The guy has the skills to do a shot like that and all the jealous coach can do is bench him.
    Fire the damn coach, he isn't any good at leading his 1-11 team.
    Childish, reactionary, no vision, no skill loser coach.
    Fire him and bench his useless ass.
  • I agree, I thought the shot was magnificent. He makes a basket and posters are saying, "That is why they are losing.". Please fill me in on how scoring points causes a team to lose. If any of our high school basketball heroes made a shot like that, you can bet he would be getting laid that night!
  • This has to be thee worst case of conversating; I agree its a game of style, freelance, and skill. They might be 1-11,but really this is all a game. For a player making millions, he should be able too dunk, alley-oop whatever the case is. Put the dam coach on the bench; The game of b-ball is to "ENTERTAIN THE CROWD NOT THE COACH". Its not like the coach said, "hey fastsbreaks requires "no dunking". All the free throws shaq big azz miss he should of been bench. That's my time folks
  • Good Point ... I agree with you 100 percent
  • Good. Let him sit on the bench.
    McGee is a jerk.
    The Wizards give this guy $2.5 million a year to be a jerk.
    Jerkism prevails in the NBA.
  • See my comment above but I have to agree with you here even though it might be a bit extreme. Maybe the game has passed him by. As a fan, at least you had something to get up out of your seat about. Flip you OWE the kid and APOLOGY!!
  • I feel this takes away from the game. I paid money to watch guys play not showboat!! For what they are paid they should play not showboat it is a waste of time.
  • you guys just don't understand. When you're 1-11 what do you have to showboat about you're losing, and a showboat dunk should not make you feel good. If you want to feel good, how about putting that kind of energy into a block shot, or a rebound. Javale Mcgee has all that atheletic ability but he only uses it to showboat. Put that atheletic aboility into some fundamental basketballs skills, and the Wizards would be a better team. I don't blame Flip.
  • Let me start off by saying I love the "GAME" of basketball. The players of today are faster, jump higher and their games are just more about show. This is known when they come into the leauge. There are those who say that these young players are show boating. But each and every generation of ballers have always showboated. From Cuzy and the Celts to Magic the Show Time Lakers. I strongly feel that all Pro Athletes are vastly overpaid. When we have teachers, fire fighters, ems personal, and police that can't even afford to go to a game. But since they do get paid such great amounts of money they should be expected to some the fans great types of plays. All of those behind the back no look passes from the pass to the self pass dunks of today. Its where we're at. So Flip grow up as a coach. The wiz 1-11 you have more important thing to worry about. Like your job.
  • Can you say Dr. J ...Earl the pearl Monroe... THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS IS THAT WE GOT SOME jEALOUS HATER IN EVERY WALK OF LIFE .. hate on while McGee and other like him still go to the bank with a smile on thier walit an on thier bankroll.. Hate on that for a while...
  • While you stand outside with an empty cup?
  • Listen, the Wizards have gone through enough as it is. Somebody should at least have some fun until they get it figured out.
  • i think think hes just trying to get his name out there. if he got into the dunk contest that could generate some buzz in washington. maybe the team will catch a spark and get some more W's
  • Some of you just don't get it! Yea, I can't do some of those things, but wait ... isn't that why they are paid that amount of money - because they can! So I am supposed to be impressed by a guy that is doing what he is paid for! I don't remember Michael Jordan showboating everytime he scored. I don't recall Walter Payton showboating after running 3, 10, or 30 yards into the endzone. Both players had respect for the other teammates! Should I be impressed when a defensive lineman tackles a running back that actually ran right into the showboater. Hell, I can tackle someone that runs right into me!
    These guys are promoting themselves at the expense of the other members of their team. There is no 'I' in team.
  • When was the last time you looked at MJ's highlights? Did you ever see any of his breakaway dunks? Granted they were winning but nonetheless, they were not layups. He "rocked the cradle" on many a dunk during his games.
  • After reading the headline and many comments, I really thought I would leave this topic alone . However after viewing the play of MCgee and his team mates I refuse to believe that showboating has cause 11 loses and 1 win. This appears to be a case of a coach who is in a funk and has begun to look for a scape goat. "Hell who is he too say his player can't celebrate the great hustle play of his teammate ( note the good hustle play to save the ball) which resulted in a fastbreak and a ease 2 points. As a lover of the game , it is my belief that he was rewarding the good hustle play of his teamates. Too say and to place so much focus on his dunk says you don't appreciate his effort. He made the shot , which is all anybody could hope for. It not like it was the 4 quarter with 20 seconds left in the game down by 25 points or so. Believe me if M. J. was the one who did what he did no one would bench him or even say something negative about the play. It would have been a possible hightlight in the lose. Why is it view so harshly ? when he made the shot and rewarded his team mates effort with an exceptional dunk. Remember folks are we not the same ones who smiled when we heard "it showtime" ; we love too to see exciting play . The coach is unwise for his action and it not a big deal too keepp your self pumped up, when clearly no one else will.

  • I have one more comment on this topic. We are blaming all these atheletes because they are overpaid, spoiled, selfish, etc. Remove ESPN from the mix and see what happens. There is then no canvas to paint on. Everyone is talking about "TEAM" in sports. Why then are the endorsement deals not shared amongst the team? There is a great hypocrisy is preaching this concept when you yourselves perpetrate the very same thing that you preach against. Think about that the next time you pick up a pair of Air Jordans!
  • preach!!!!
  • I don't see how the move could be interpreted as showboating or flashy after watching the play again. I'd rather see a 7-footer pass the ball off the backboard to himself than travel. He caught the pass in an awkward spot for a right-handed guy who's stride was long enough for it to take about two and a half steps to get to the goal. Should he take one dribble and jump off of the wrong foot or not dribble at all and travel with the ball?
    On another note: do we also get upset each time Moses Malone threw up a bad shot with the sole intention of getting the rebound so that he could make a better shot? I see those two types of plays exactly the same way. Ask any 7-footer how hard it is to make one or two dribbles in the open court and finish the play off of the wrong foot. That's asking a lot. ....but then again, I did travel around the country in the late 80's and early 90's participating in slam dunk competitions so, my opinion might be a little skewed. That's my two cents.
  • By the way, I'm from Washington. I haven't watched a Bullets game since I used to do their half time shows but it's good to see that they finally have a player that can make ESPN's Top Ten every once in a while. After politics, this is a Redskins town and with that said, there's not much to cheer for here. Even if the Bullets had a winning record, not too many folks around here would care. Off the top of my head, I think their last championship was in '76 (?). So, do you think anyone in DC really cares if McGee passed the ball off the backboard to himself? I'm betting that no one here even saw it.

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