JaVale McGee sat down with Kristine Leahy on her show Fair Game on FS1 and talked about the Lakers locker room and comments from LeBron James calling him the Defensive Player of the Year. He also talked about what growing up surrounded by WNBA players was like and how long it took for him to beat his mom in one-on-one.
JaVale and his mother Pamela McGee are the first mother-son duo to both play professional basketball. Pamela McGee was drafted second overall in the 1997 WNBA draft at the age of 34. She played two seasons with the Sacramento Monarchs and the Los Angeles Sparks. Before her WNBA career, she was a member of back-to-back title teams at USC in 1983 and 1984, along with earning an Olympic gold medal in 1984.
JaVale McGee has always been good at basketball, but he said he couldn’t beat his mom in one-on-one for quite a while.
“I used to when I was younger. I couldn’t beat her until I was like 14.”
This might surprise some people, but Pamela McGee was a dominant women’s basketball player and was a force to be reckoned with even as she got older. JaVale says he has some memories of growing up with his mom as a professional basketball player.
“Yeah, definitely have a lot of memories, of course I don’t have memories of being in a stroller, I don’t think anyone’s memory goes back that far, but I do have memories from when my mother was playing for LA, Sacramento, and when she was coaching for the Detroit Shock.”
Leahy went on to ask about what it was like growing up around women basketball players, to which JaVale responded that he doesn’t know anything else other than growing up like that.
“You’re asking that question from a person that wasn’t surrounded by female basketball players so as a person who was I just thought that was normal.”
Leahy and McGee ended the discussion about his mother with McGee telling her what the best piece of advice his mother gave him was.
“She’s always told me it doesn’t matter if you lose, win, fail, whatever as long as at the end of it you’re like ‘I tried my hardest’, like I worked my hardest, I was in the gym, I was in the weight room I was working my hardest. You can’t be mad at yourself at least, it just wasn’t meant to be. But if it happens, and you worked hard, it’s even more satisfying.”
JaVale has worked hard to get to this point in his career, and it’s safe to say that he can be satisfied with the work that he has put in.