When the Oklahoma City Thunder drafted Mitch McGary out of Michigan with the #21 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, they knew in themselves they were getting a steal. The former Wolverine was a top tier talent who had fallen off the radar of a number of teams due to injury concerns – but the Thunder kept their eyes firmly on the prize.
Since joining the Thunder, McGary has already put in some solid work. He had a very good Summer League campaign and showed no signs of the back injury that sidelined him for all but 8 games of what was to be his final collegiate season. The talented big man has found his home with the Thunder and it looks like it will prove to be a very successful relationship.
McGary recently took part in the NBA rookies photo shoot. It involved some fancy footwork, dunking, posing for a heap of photos and signing rookie cards. An unbelievable and almost surreal experience, but one that McGary took completely in his stride.
All the rookies were then asked a question. With the introduction of nicknames on jerseys, what would they choose to have displayed on the rear of their jersey? Plenty of rookies answered with a range on fun filled names, monikers and descriptions, but McGary answered this question quite simply.
During his tenure with the Michigan Wolverines, the 6’10″ power forward was given the nickname “The Monster” and it seems to have stuck. The way he plays the game of basketball, it is easy to see how he earned his nickname. Very few players have the same level of intensity and hustle the McGary possesses. He never gives up on a play and is super active every minute he is on a basketball court. When you couple that tenacious behavior with an imposing physical presence – you have yourselves a monster.
While the Thunder will not be wearing the nicknamed jerseys this season, you can still look for #33 in the Thunder strip – and while it will just say McGary on the rear of the top, his play will show you why he is a monster.