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JaVale McGee woke up from a nap to learn he’d been traded

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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JaVale McGee wakes up to find he is being defended by Carlos Boozer (Jonathan Daniel/ Getty).

At March's trade deadline, the Washington Wizards traded center/goofball JaVale McGee to the Denver Nuggets. It wasn't a particularly surprising choice for anyone who has followed McGee's career in D.C. — he was part of a team with historic levels of immaturity, and they had to change their long-term plan. So out JaVale went. It seems like a pretty simple concept.

McGee himself, however, was taken aback by the news. As he told Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, he was napping at the time (via SLAM):

"I was sleeping, taking my pregame nap," McGee told HOOPSWORLD. "When I woke up, I found out that I had been traded. I had a bunch of text messages from different people and I talked to the team. I was shocked. I just asked, 'When do I leave?'"

McGee was expecting to finish the season in Washington and the move definitely caught him off guard. However, after the shock passed, he realized that the change of scenery would be good for him. It's not often that a notable player gets to jump from a lottery team to a playoff team. McGee is enjoying the experience in Denver, where the team expects to win every night and compete come playoff time.

"This is a great organization," McGee said. "There are a lot of hard working people here and this organization gives their players everything they need."

In truth, the NBA pregame nap is so common that we can't really make fun of McGee for it — that'd be like blaming someone for wearing a headband or freezing out a coach. However, this particular snooze does help explain his state of mind at the time. If he'd been on edge, he would've made like Michael Beasley and watched cartoons. I hear JaVale has bootleg DVDs of "Aaahh!!! Real Monsters" and everything.

What's impressive about his reaction is that, even given the surprise, he has managed to contribute to a playoff contender and pitch in a clutch basket or two along the way. Despite his deserved reputation for on-court immaturity, McGee has acted like a professional. The next time he does something ridiculous during a game, remember that not everything he does belongs in a blooper reel.

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