Trying to figure out just where Tracy fits
So I was there the night he was drafted in Charlotte back in 1997, a skinny 17-year-old with nothing but potential, and I was there watching him play mop up minutes for the San Antonio Spurs last June.
Been an interesting ride that’s now over for Tracy McGrady, whose intemperate youthful decision to want to go home to Orlando as a 19-year-old was, in hindsight, a regrettable if understandable one. We all know that, he knows that, Vince Carter knows that, every knows that and it’s old news.
Two Tracy moments
New Year’s Eve, 1996 I guess it was. Washington.
Ho hum game and before it, Darrell Walker suggests that if Tracy doesn’t start to get it that he’d be out of the league in three years. Darrell knew what he had, a young kid who really didn’t have a clue and challenged him. Given what transpired, I think D Walk was right, the teenager need a kick in the butt.
And, yes, they are fine now, no hard feelings either way.
Sometime midway through the first playoff season when he channeled his inner Micheal Ray Richardson and proclaimed “the ship be sinking.”
It wasn’t, of course, and it seemed a rather brash statement from a then third-year player who was on a team laden with veterans but speaking his mind was never an issue with T Mac. He did it with no apologies and while there were some issues on a team with two ascendant young stars and a group of grizzled vets who knew more about how the league and team worked than the kids did he didn’t win over any fans with the proclamation.
But that’s what Tracy was, and is. He was cocksure and confident, willing to say whatever was on his mind and it always seemed he had put his own personal pursuits ahead of everything.
There is no denying is abundant talent, especially as a scorer, but there was a level of “woe is me” to Tracy that I found troubling at times.
To him, he never had the teammates that he needed, never had the support system that he needed, he played on teams that were less than the sum of parts because of injuries or somesuch.
Even as late as last June when we talked at the NBA Finals, he spoke of needing to be a somewhat selfish scorer in Orlando because Grant Hill wasn’t healthy, he needed to shoulder more of a load in Houston because Yao Ming was often hurt; all facts, but all stuff he’d bring up at the drop of dime.
But here’s the question a lot of people are asking:
In five years when he’s eligible, is he a Hall of Famer.
I don’t know. The raw numbers would suggest he’d have to get serious consideration. The tweeter was full of impressive stats yesterday, the most impressive that he was one of seven players to average 20 points, five rebound and four assists in eight straight seasons; the others were Kobe, LeBron, Jordan, Oscar, Garnett and Bird.
Not bad company and if that’s your main criteria, you can’t keep him out, can you?
I could, though.
I could suggest that while his statistical impact was significant – there can be no argument about that, the raw numbers are shocking – there was just something about his body of work that should give voters cause for concern.
Now, I suppose you could go either way on this one, there is a legitimate argument to be made both ways, I think, and since I’m a Hall of Fame hard ass and look at a much bigger global picture, I’m saying no.
And I will say this and take whatever shots you’ve got:
With respect to an impact on the sport, here in North America and around the world, he couldn’t hold a candle to Vince Carter.
If you’re talking impact, there’s no comparison.
It was soft and quiet night around here and this came up on the shuffle thing.
Not bad, eh?
Of all the great mysteries in life – Stonehenge, how they get the caramilk in the Caramilk bar, why the Raptors drafted Rafael Araujo – one of the greatest has to be why people lose all ability to drive when it starts to rain.
Look, I’m pretty good behind the wheel; don’t drive as fast as some people I know but I’m still pretty good in any manner of weather or circumstances.
So why is that so many drive scared when there’s raining falling?
Now, I am not up on those zany Kardashians as some people I know – my tastes seem to run more to Duck Dynasty, as I mentioned – but I would pay money to watch that clan have an intervention with Lamar Odom.
Not to joke too much about what seems to be a pretty serious situation but if you’re taking life lessons from them, there are issues.
Only way it’d work is they brought back Hump to intervene.
There, I mentioned them.
Actually, I did talk to Dwane a bit on the weekend and the summer is as the summer always is.
He and the staff are on the road working out players a little bit – it’s the mundane stuff like shooting drills, conditioning, some weight work, defensive drills and just staying in contact.
I have no clue how they are going because they are run of the mill stuff that every NBA team goes through in the downtime of the summer and I’m not there.
The next transmission will be when they do something that I deem to be of legitimate interest, which is likely to be the announcement of the TV broadcast schedule that should be sometime soon.
Other than that, it’s dead time, there is no news, there is nothing happening and if you’re antsy, sorry about that.
Camp starts in about five weeks.
(Oh yeah, we’re going to be a few minutes later than usual for the next little while. Still nominal vacation – next official transmission will be Sept. 7 as Argo Boy from Montreal – and this loafing in bed in the morning in pretty darn wonderful.)
Canada’s 0-4 at The Tutu after losing to Brazil and they open the FIBA Americas tournament on Friday.
Not an awful lot of time to right the ship.