NBA Rumors: JaVale McGee Expects To Play In Lakers-Warriors Game On Christmas, ‘That’s Really Important To Me’

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Los Angeles Lakers starting center JaVale McGee has already missed three consecutive games in the 2018-19 NBA season due to illness. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that McGee has been in the UCLA Medical Center since Thursday because of pneumonia. Luckily, McGee was discharged on Saturday.

JaVale McGee will reportedly be on the Lakers bench when they face the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center on Sunday night, but he’s not expected to play and still being monitored. In a recent phone conversation with Yahoo Sports, McGee said that he’s starting to feel better and hoping to return to his 100 percent health to help the Lakers achieve their main goal this season.

“I feel a little better,” McGee said.

“Surprisingly, I didn’t lose any weight. All I can do is get healthy and get back in shape as soon as possible so that I can contribute towards making us a playoff-contending team.”

Though he isn’t expected to enter the court against the Grizzlies, JaVale McGee is hoping that he could play when they face his former team and the reigning NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, on Christmas day at the Oracle Arena where he is set to receive his second championship ring.

“Of course, that’s the only thing, the only game I’ve been thinking about while being bedridden is the Christmas Day game,” McGee said.

“No offense to the other teams, but that’s really important to me. I’ve got to get better for that game. That’s the homecoming, the ring ceremony. It’s really important.”

It’s easy to understand why JaVale McGee is very much looking forward to their game against Golden State. After years of being the NBA’s laughing stock, the Warriors helped McGee revive his NBA career and gave him two NBA championship titles. Despite mostly coming off the bench and receiving limited playing time, the 30-year-old center has been an integral part of the Warriors’ success in the past two seasons.

In the 2018-19 NBA season, JaVale McGee will finally have the opportunity to show the Warriors his improvements on both ends of the floor as the starting center of one of their Western Conference rivals. Since the start of the season, McGee has been establishing an impressive performance, proving that the Lakers made the right decision to sign him in the recent free agency. In 29 games he played this season, McGee is averaging 11.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks on 62.6 percent shooting from the field.