Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee was benched Monday for throwing himself an alley-oop in the third quarter of his team’s loss to the Rockets.
With 9:35 left in the third quarter and Washington trailing by six, point guard John Wall found McGee open at halfcourt. As the 7-footer raced toward Houston’s unguarded basket, he fired the ball off the glass before finishing the play with a thunderous jam.
Although the dunk was athletic and definitely fun to watch, Wizards head coach Flip Saunders was less than impressed with the feat and immediately benched McGee for the remainder of the contest.
“I told him that’s unacceptable,” Saunders in a post-game interview. “Maybe I’m too old-school, but you see that and the [lobbying] for the All-Star Game, that right there is where we have to get to where we identify with meat and potato basketball. Playing hard, setting screens, playing the right way, and not highlight-type play. We’ve said this many times. We have some players that look for highlights instead of substance.”
Javale’s teammate Wall also agreed with the coach adding:
“A dunk is a dunk. It would have been better if he went in and did a regular dunk. We’re 1-11,” Wall said. “There was no point in doing that. I know he was excited, but if we make a basket, that’s all that counts.”
McGee, however, defended his actions, saying he didn’t regret the self alley-oop.
“I feel like I was trying to get the team hyped and trying to make a good play,” McGee explained to reporters. “And we made a run from there, but I guess not.”
The Wizards lost the game 106-114 to fall to 1-12 on the year. McGee, who has been one of the Wizards more productive players this season, finished the night with eight points, 10 rebounds, and three blocked shots.
Watch the McGee’s breakaway dunk in the clip below:
What do you think readers? Do you agree with Flip Saunders move to bench Javale McGee for the showy dunk?