JaVale has spent a lot of time in the Philippines lately, and the people in Manila have fallen in love with him and his planking, flying Buddha-ing ways.
If this story in the Philippine Star is to be believed, it looks like JaVale may become a citizen in order to play ball there.
If everything falls into place, Smart Gilas Pilipinas will have the Washington Wizards’ seven-foot center JaVale McGee as naturalized player for the next FIBA Asia championship.
McGee had been in the country twice in the last four months and, in his last visit, expressed willingness to be part of the Philippine team vying for a slot in the 2014 World Championship.
The STAR source said McGee and the Smart Gilas people have reached an agreement to pursue the same direction Marcus Douthit had gone through enabling the latter to play for the Phl team in the recent Asian joust in Tianjin, China.
Since JaVale has not, and most likely will never, play for the USA team, he is eligible to play for any country as long as he’s a naturalized citizen.
JaVale’s new found celebrity in the Philippines has been profitable for him, and the ego boost is no doubt quite attractive. He is clearly more marketable there than he ever will be in the U.S., and as his recent thoughts on Kim Kardashian show, he gets that sometimes it’s just about the money.
JaVale has not addressed the rumors himself, but we’d bet the official announcement will involve him holding a banner while doing the flying Buddha.