Suns’ center JaVale McGee reveals how he was added to Team USA
Aug 11, 2021, 7:25 PM | Updated: Aug 12, 2021, 7:35 am
Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee did not have the typical NBA offseason, winning a gold medal in the Tokyo Games as a late addition to Team USA’s basketball roster.
For McGee, who was originally named as an alternate, just joining the team in Las Vegas to prepare for the Olympics was an atypical experience.
McGee and his mother Pamela joined NBC’s The Today Show, mentioning how McGee learned he was selected.
Meet the first American mother and son to win Olympic gold medals! @PamelaMcGee34 won gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. And last week, @JaValeMcGee carried on the family legacy 37 years later, winning gold with Team USA. pic.twitter.com/qSk9QeajmK
— 3rd Hour of TODAY (@3rdHourTODAY) August 11, 2021
“They called me on a Friday and were like, ‘Can you get to Vegas on a Saturday?'” McGee said.
“So I overpacked. I had like five or six bags and had to send three bags home.”
McGee said he had to do some politicking to get himself on Team USA’s radar, especially after Bradley Beal (COVID-19) and Kevin Love (injury) withdrew from the team.
“We took advantage of the opportunity to call the Olympics personally,” McGee said.
“We was just like ‘Yo, we’re ready if you need a big. I know you don’t have anyone of my caliber on the team. A 7-foot guy who can roll to the rim and protect the basket,'” he said.
“And got hops,” mom added.
McGee and his mother, Pamela, made history becoming the first ever first mother-son gold medal duo in U.S. Olympic history.
Both arrived at the interview wearing their Olympic gold medals.