Suns JaVale McGee joins NBA’s call for Brittney Griner’s return

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When Phoenix Mercury star center Brittney Griner was initially detained in Russia back in February, NBA players weren’t so quick to speak up on the situation.

Suns backup center JaVale McGee explained why on ESPN’s First Take.

“When it first happened, it was more it’s a sensitive subject and something we really don’t want to touch on because Russia is in a war right now and there’s a lot going on and things that we really can’t even imagine right now,” McGee said Tuesday morning.

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner sits during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's WNBA Finals against the Chicago Sky, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Phoenix.

Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February.

“When we got the OK, or at least the head nod to speak on it, everybody was adamant, but internally, everybody was talking about it,” McGee continued. “It’s a crazy situation. Somebody in the WNBA is one of our own. To be locked up in a foreign country for something that’s legal in America, which is even crazier.”

Over time, several NBA players like McGee’s teammate Chris Paul and head coach Monty Williams, along with Lakers forwards LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver have used their platform to discuss Griner’s situation.

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