Lakers center JaVale McGee was discharged from the hospital on Saturday after dealing with pneumonia, according to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes. McGee spent three days at the UCLA Medical Center beginning on Thursday, around the time he produced a 104-degree fever, Haynes wrote.
McGee has missed the Lakers’ past three games with what the team called “flu-like symptoms,” beginning on December 16 against the Wizards. He’ll miss his fourth straight game with the respiratory infection on Sunday against Memphis, and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to play in Golden State for their Christmas Day showdown on Tuesday.
“I feel a little better,” McGee told Haynes. “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. This is such a great organization, and the way we’re battling and the way our young fellas are holding it down with the injuries we’ve endured is incredible. I’m proud of how we pulled off that game against New Orleans [on Friday]. I just can’t wait to get back.”
McGee was severely dehydrated prior to the Dec. 16 game against Washington, and several attempts to administer an IV were unsuccessful due to complications of finding a vein, Haynes reported. He remains intent on getting better in time to receive his second championship ring this Tuesday, won this past season as a member of the Warriors.
“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, according to Haynes. “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.”
McGee has played an important role for the Lakers this season, starting in all 29 of his games while holding per-game averages of 11.8 points and 6.7 rebounds. His scoring mark of 11.8 points is the highest of his 11-year career, and his average playing time of 23.5 minutes per contest is the most since the 2011/12 season.
There’s more out of Los Angeles today:
- The Lakers started Ivica Zubac in place of McGee on Friday, and the 21-year-old made the most of his opportunity to help seal a team win, Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com writes. Zubac recorded 16 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 32 minutes of action. “Zu got the game ball tonight for sure,” teammate LeBron James said of Zubac. “His impact both offensively and defensively was huge for us tonight.”
- James once again showed the power of his voice this past week, passionately discussing his desire to play with other NBA All-Stars and his displeasure with the mindsets of some NFL owners, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes. “People get caught up in bunches sometimes when they wish they could control what you say, and they can’t control me,” James said. “At all.”
- The Lakers will likely have outside competition for Anthony Davis if they express interest in trading for him, writes Mark Heisler of the OC Register. Several league observers believe the Celtics possess enough long-term assets to make a serious run at Davis, a player whom the franchise has eyed in past seasons. Other wild card teams could join the fray if New Orleans opts to explore moving Davis in the coming months. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry was adamant this past week that the team wouldn’t trade Davis, explaining that it’s “not an option” for the club.