On Friday, when the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, Donovan Mitchell submitted his entry for this season’s dunk of the year after he took flight and threw down an absolute poster on JaVale McGee, one of the league’s leading shot-blockers.
Naturally, the internet was ablaze, but McGee told Dave McMenamin of ESPN that he couldn’t care less about what other people think about him getting dunked on.
“I’m a shot-blocker so I don’t give a f*** about getting dunked on. That ain’t s*** to me ‘cause when I block a dunk you’re like ‘ooh!’ It’s the exact same reaction. I don’t care.”
Instead, McGee has a shot-blocker’s mentality, which isn’t all that different to the “shoot your shot” shooter’s mentality.
“I thought I hit the ball and then I looked up and everybody was screaming and I was like ‘Oh, he made it’ ... But I had to block the next shot. I could have been that person that’s like ‘Oh, I got dunked on, now I’m scared to block shots,’ but I’ve blocked Rudy Gobert who’s a really good dunker, so I’m not worried about none of that.”
Here’s JaVale McGee on that Donovan Mitchell dunk. **earmuffs** pic.twitter.com/ofaU0FiDYA— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 12, 2019
That mindset has worked out for McGee so far this year.
Despite missing seven games in December, McGee is still ranked fifth in the league in total blocks (84) this season. Only two blocks separate him and Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside, who are tied for third place with 86 blocks.
Some nights he’ll be on the wrong end of a poster slam, like he was on Friday, but on most nights he’s stuffing those attempts at the rim.