JaVale McGee brings Warriors together for 4th annual charity softball game

Warriors (Photo by Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images)
Warriors (Photo by Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images) /

Check out some of the sights and sounds from JaVale McGee’s 4th annual Juglife Foundation Charity Softball Game.

JaVale McGee, starting center for the 2x Defending World Champion Golden State Warriors, hosted his 4th Annual Juglife Foundation Water For Life Charity Softball Game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

While the event benefited JaVale’s Juglife Foundation, the real highlight was the pregame red carpet, where numerous Warriors players, professional athletes and celebrities posed for photos and conducted interviews with the media.

Three-time World Champion Stephen Curry was the most prominent individual to grace the red carpet.  I asked him how he ranked his three world titles in order of preference.

“They’re all stressful,” Curry said. “The first one, you can only have one first one, so that’s a great memory.  But all of them, every time you look at the trophies and the rings, you have great memories.  Each of the different teams, and the different journeys, and all that type of stuff.

“It’s nice to have a conversation of which one,” Curry added with a smile.

McGee walked the red carpet of his event while answering questions from the media, mostly about his charity The Juglife Foundation that helps raise awareness for how critical water is to life and lifestyle.  I was more curious as to whether or not the Warriors’ fan favorite, and vital piece of the team’s back-to-back championships, wanted to return for the opportunity to three-peat.

“That would definitely be a positive thing (to return to the Warriors),” McGee said. “What would it take? I mean, it would take both sides to come to an agreement, and just positivity.”

McGee was sporting his trademark Gucci fanny pack, and I asked what he kept inside of it.

“There’s so much stuff in here man, that I can’t even tell you,” McGee said laughing.

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Rookie Jordan Bell participated in the red carpet festivities, and I asked him what the reaction was from his rookie peers in the NBA when the Warriors won the World Championship.

“They’ve been envious of me since I was drafted,” Bell said.  “Once I got drafted, Donovan Mitchell, John Collins, Tyler Ennis, (the interview was interrupted at this point for a moment by an exuberant Nick Young, who compared outfits with Bell), they weren’t hating, they were just talking to me, because I’m cooler than everybody.  Everybody went before me in the first round, and I was late, so for me to get drafted so late, I was so happy in my situation.”

I asked Bell if he carried the same resentment as Draymond Green for being drafted in the second round, and if he uses it as motivation.

“Naw, because in my mind, I was the first pick in the draft if you ask me,” Bell said. “I won a championship, the only rookie to win it.  I’m on the Warriors. I get to compete and actually play on a championship team.  Can’t nobody tell me no! I got a ring!

I was going to interview Swag Champ next, except a DJ from Bay Area hip hop radio station KMEL scared him away from the red carpet when he asked Young, “You still think we should legalize it?” in reference to Swaggy’s comments earlier in the week about legalizing cocaine. Young laughed at the question, then immediately left the red carpet without saying another word.

Other notable athletes and celebrities, including Andre Igoudala, new San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, and Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, briefly walked the red carpet without fielding questions from the media.  Warriors power forward David West, Warriors centers Zaza Pachulia and Damian Jones, Workaholics actor Blake Anderson and former Olympic Gold Medalist figure skater Kristy Yamaguchi also participated in the red carpet festivities.

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Despite a sparse crowd at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the competitors and spectators alike seemed to have a great time.  McGee coached one team, and fellow vegan Andre Igoudala coached the other. On a hot day in Oakland, Team Andre defeated Team JaVale 10-9 in 7 innings to win the 4th Annual Juglife Foundation Water For Life Charity Softball Game. Igoudala was awarded MVP of the event.