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The JaVale McGee and Nick Young Reunion Is Finally Getting the Buddy Movie It Deserves

The onetime Wizard chums are now Warrior teammates, so it’s only right that JaVale and Swaggy P get a film treatment

JaVale McGee and Nick Young shaking hands Getty Images/Ringer illustration

Nick Young, the basketball goofball savant, and JaVale McGee, who, philosophically, is just a taller version of Nick Young, are (fucking finally) on the same team again this season. And more than that: They’re teammates on the defending champion Golden State Warriors, an all-time great team. It’s exciting for any number of reasons, not the least of which are joke-based. It’s just going to be so much fun to watch the two of them, entirely charming and lovely (and occasionally infuriating), bounce off of each other’s radiant energy for the next nine months.

I’m excited for the first time they sit at a postgame press conference podium together during the playoffs. I’m excited for the first time we start to hear rumors about them hanging out together outside of basketball (“Nick Young Tricks JaVale McGee Into Accidentally Eating a Penguin; McGee Says Young Told Him It Was ‘Just Big Candy,’” TMZ will probably report sometime in January). I’m excited for, like, eight months into the season when Nick goes missing for two days and everyone’s in a panic but then it turns out that he and JaVale were playing a game of hide-and-seek and JaVale just forgot to look for him. And I’m excited for when they realize that, since they’re already in California, they might as well go ahead and write a movie together.

“We’ll be the new Ben Affleck and Matt Damon,” JaVale will tell Nick.

“Which one’s Matt Damon again?” Nick will ask JaVale.

“Did you ever see Ocean’s Twelve?” JaVale will ask. “Matt’s the one that’s not Brad Pitt or George Clooney.”

“I didn’t see Ocean’s Twelve, but I did see Ocean’s Eleven,” Nick will say.


Some details from the movie that JaVale and Nick (will probably) write together:

  • It’s called Maximum Power Heist. They voted that title the winner over Dr. Thief (where the main bad guy is a crooked oncologist), The Color of Honey (where the main bad guy is a crooked beekeeper), Red Lawn 2.0 (where the main bad guy is a crooked landscaper who’s good at the crooked internet, whatever that is), and Extreme Bank Makeover (where the main bad guy is a crooked Ty Pennington).
  • In it, JaVale and Nick play Kyle and Eric White, twin brothers who were born two years apart. Kyle is played by JaVale and Eric is played by Nick.
  • They work at a shoe store in the same strip center as a small bank. They decide they want to rob the bank to help a local community center pay off an outstanding tax bill from the city. (Originally, the movie was going to be that Kyle and Eric were high-ranking members of the community center, and that they were going to breakdance their way out of debt. But then someone pointed out that that was the plot of Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, which was playing in the background as they wrote what would eventually become Maximum Power Heist.)

A scene from Maximum Power Heist:


Eric is standing at the register. Kyle is nearby not doing much of anything. Standing near them is Lori (played by Tessa Thompson), the store’s manager.


So, can you explain the twin brother thing to me again? Because I just don’t see it.


(Thumbing through shirts on a rack.)

What do you mean? What’s there to explain?


I guess I just don’t get how you all are twins.


Ah. Yeah, it’s a little confusing when you look at us because Kyle is tall and I’m less tall and also our faces don’t look anything alike. But it’s because we’re not identical twins. That’s probably why you’re confused. There are identical twins, and then there are fraternal twins. We’re fraternal.


No, no. I mean ... I know what fraternal twins are. I get that. It’s just the whole thing about one of y’all being two years older than the other one. That’s the part I don’t get.


It’s because we’re not identical.


That’s ... those don’t have anything to do with each other.


It’s complicated. Let me think of the easiest way to explain it.


Please do.


I got it. OK, it goes like this: I was born first, right? So I’m born. I’m a baby. Then my mom got pregnant again when I was a little over a year old. Then Kyle was born nine months later. There you go.


That just means you’re regular brothers.


Why does everyone always say that?!


Because that’s how regular brothers work. You don’t just get to say you’re twin brothers. Twins are born at the same time.


That sounds impossible. You’re telling me some moms have two vaginas?


Jesus Christ.

Cartoon of JaVale McGee and Nick Young sitting at a table arguing about salt and pepper shakers Sean Mack

Rather than building an actual whole and original movie, Nick and JaVale just stitch together a bunch of common heist movie scenes to make Maximum Power Heist. It has the scene where the guys sit in a diner and map out the robbery using diner items as set pieces. (In MPH, they argue because they both want to be the pepper shaker, at which point JaVale’s character makes some sort of Iggy Azalea/saltshaker joke.) It has the Getting the Gang Together scene in it. It has the scene where someone explains how impossible the job is. It has the scene where things starts to go sideways and someone has to step in and distract a security guard or police officer.

Cartoon of McGee and Young in a high-speed chase Sean Mack

It has the high-speed chase scene in it. It has the scene where a mole in the group was double-crossing the others, except the others knew about it and were actually double-double-crossing the mole (if we stretch the basketball metaphor out here, that probably means this character is played by D’Angelo Russell). It has the “Just one last job” scene, as well as the scene where a love interest argues against a person taking the job. It has the scene where someone has to improvise a thing because of some unforeseen circumstance (it feels like there’d almost certainly be a Steve Kerr nudity shot worked in here). It has the scene where we get a taste of exactly how cool the cool guy is. (One of my favorite ones is from 2001’s Heist when a guy gives Gene Hackman’s character a hard time about being over-prepared and Hackman responds, “I wouldn’t tie my shoes without a backup plan.”) It has the celebratory scene where, after the heist, the successful heisters look at fireworks or whatever in slow motion while soft music plays. It’s all in there. In nonsequential order. It’s a total mess. And also perfect.

Following the surprising success of Maximum Power Heist, Nick and JaVale make a sequel (Maximum Power Heist 2: Even More Maximum), which does even better, leading to a third movie (Maximum Power Heist 3: Just When You Thought the Boys Were All Out of Maximum), and then a disappointing fourth (Maximum Power Heist 4: What Even Is Maximum, Really?), which is somehow still perfect. Because Nick Young is perfect. And JaVale McGee is perfect. I can’t wait for them to finally be together this season. I really can’t.