JaVale McGee pulled a sneaky one from his bag of tricks Wednesday night against his old team.
In the third quarter of the Warriors' 126-93 preseason loss to the Lakers at Staples Center, McGee began limping and grabbing his left knee. Within about three or four seconds, it seemed his antics became clear: JaVale was faking an injury.
The Lakers center went from crouched out of bounds to back in play in a flash to catch a pass from fellow big man Anthony Davis and throw down a dunk. McGee couldn't help but laugh at the expense of his former Golden State teammates.
They need to run this play for JaVale McGee in the regular season 😅 pic.twitter.com/v8haT2COd3— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 17, 2019
But on Thursday, McGee claimed he thought he actually was injured.
After chuckling about the play, McGee told reporters, "I hit my knee, I really hit my knee. And it hurt. I went out of bounds and I saw Draymond guarding AD and I was like, forget the pain, I'm gonna go get these buckets. So I ran back in and got a dunk.
"But I really did bump my knee."
McGee didn't seem to be in any pain running back on defense, however, only he knows how his body truly felt.
If he was faking an injury, that kind of tomfoolery might seem illegal at first, but in reality, McGee looks like a genius who perfectly knows the rule book. Section XV of the NBA rule book states: "An offensive player shall not leave the playing area of the court without returning immediately and cannot repeatedly leave and re-enter the court." There are exceptions, though, the first of which comes from an injury.
While the Lakers have been dominating the Warriors in the preseason, McGee has been catching up on his reading. The Dubs, and the rest of the NBA, surely will have their eyes on JaVale goes down.