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The mark of a champion: JaVale McGee gets inked in gold

The 7-foot-0h! center had tattooed onto the forearm of his hot, right hand a replica of the NBA Championship trophy. (In other news, Kobe Bryant’s latest attempt to upstage the Warriors will end in failure, too.)

JaVale McGee with beast moves early in the first quarter during Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans on June 9, 2017.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

JaVale Pierre McGee added another weapon to his already beast-mode blockin’, slam-dunkin’ game: a golden NBA Championship trophy tattooed on his right forearm.

A visit to a New York tattoo parlor and — voila! — a permanent reminder of the hard work, dedication and persistence that paid off in spades.

The mark of a champion — a message to the haters.

But McGee didn’t do it alone, and he made sure to call out his teammates — plus Seth Curry and Damian Lillard — as “brothers” for helping him attain the ultimate basketball goal. His comments on the new ink serve as yet another example of the depths to which gratitude and humility run with this team.

Gratitude and humility do not belie dominance, however, so when the Warriors tip off the 2017-18 NBA season next month, McGee’s ink will be a reminder to opponents that they better come with respect.

“Together. So...”

As first reported by TMZ, the NBA rumor mill is buzzing about the Lakers’ decision to retire Kobe Bryant’s jersey on December 18 at Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles — during a game against the Warriors.

Be reminded that at the end of the 2015-16 regular season, Kobe sought to go out in style against the Utah Jazz. Depending on one’s concept of “success,” he accomplished his goal, putting up 60 points. But this final scoring hoorah for the future Hall of Famer resulted from 50 field-goal attempts — the most in NBA history.

And, that folks, is pretty much the story of Kobe Bryant’s career.

While he was busy hogging the ball for individual accolades, the Warriors were clenching their historic 73rd win of the 2015-16 regular season — as a team.

The media propagated the Kobe-upstaged-the-Warriors narrative hardcore. But true basketball fans know that taking the most shot attempts in NBA history is really nothing to brag about. Instead, it’s the mark of selfish player choosing individual stats over team success, and Dub Nation knows the Warriors are not about that.

Stephen Curry’s tweet from that night reveals he might be of a similar sentiment, valuing teamwork over individual achievements. A bunch players working together to set a record, which will likely never be broken unless the Warriors break it themselves, is a greater achievement than one guy putting up all the shots to gratify his own ego.

The December 18 showdown against the Lakers should be fun. The disrespect of retiring Kobe’s jersey on the night his former team plays the NBA champions means only one thing: The Warriors must crush them.

Also, it will be Lonzo Ball’s first game against Golden State and fans the world over can’t wait to see if his Big Baller Brand shoes come apart at the seams.

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