JaVale McGee

McGee reveals unexpected key to Warriors' sustained NBA success

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Warriors' dynastic Big Three has helped the organization reach unimaginable NBA success over the last decade.

But NBA veteran JaVale McGee, who won two of his three titles with Golden State, believes the team's success goes beyond being led by future Hall of Famers Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Instead, the 7-foot center pointed to an unexpected off-the-court reason for the team's sustained success.

"When I went to the Warriors, it kind of opened my eyes to more things you can do in the league," McGee told NBC Sports California's Deuce Mason and Morgan Ragan on the "Deuce & Mo" podcast. "Before the Warriors, it was just play basketball and go home. And then when I got to the Warriors, I saw the way they moved around. I saw the demeanor, the way they spoke to people, the way they built relationships outside of basketball and inside of the organization.

"You're talking to the GM, we talking to the coaches, we're taking the coaches to dinner. It was more of a social thing than I expected when I first got in the league."

When McGee first entered the NBA in 2008 with the Washington Wizards, his mentality was to go to work and come home.

He admitted he never felt the need to engage or hang out with his coaches or teammates outside of a greeting and a farewell.

When he arrived in the Bay, though, where the Warriors had just made two consecutive NBA Finals appearances, he understood that everyone had to be on the same page to win a championship -- and that took more than the X's and O's of the game.

"When I got to the Warriors, it was like, we're having dinners on the road and you can bring your family with you?" McGee continued. "You got Draymond over there with his cousin. I'm here with my auntie. Coach Steve Kerr over there with his son. They rented out the whole restaurant so we can all stay together while we're on the road.

"It was just a different energy, and I try to bring that to other teams I go to and help them understand, it's a reason the Warriors are winning. It wasn't that they had Steph, Klay and Draymond -- it wasn't just that. It was the fact that even off the court, they made it to where it was a family function and we were all as one on the road and at home."

Of course, having the likes of Curry, Thompson and Green certainly helps.

But as teams such as the Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers have learned -- it takes more than talent to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy in June.

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