Monday , Nov , 23 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets: why a nasty divorce is inevitable

Any back and forth about practice and medical reports is a smokescreen. Nothing more. A divorce is inevitable and both sides are positioning themselves for what comes next. And while they won’t be fighting over the golden retriever, shiny BMW, 3000 square foot mansion, or even the ice cube trays in the freezer, this situation – as Friday’s alleged shouting match between coach Rick Adelman and the former All-Star showed – has the potential to get downright nasty …


Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets: why a nasty divorce is inevitableBreaking NBA news mixed with analysis …

Their News: "Tracy McGrady returned to practice with the Houston Rockets for the first time since micro-fracture surgery in February on Monday, but the seven-time All-Star still doesn’t know when he’ll play"

McGrady said he can play now, but Rockets coach Rick Adelman has said he’s not ready.

Adelman missed practice Monday to attend to a personal matter and was not available for comment. Assistant coach Elston Turner said "it’s a process" to get McGrady back.

The 30-year-old McGrady said the difference of opinion between he and Rockets officials is not a problem, but he’s upset people have faulted him for wanting to return now." (Associated Press via ESPN)

My Quick Analysis: After six seasons together, the marriage between Tracy McGrady and the Houston Rockets will soon end.

McGrady, a free agent in July, is recovering from micro-racture surgery and wants to play as soon as possible to re-establish his worth, while the Rockets won’t welcome T-Mac back because they believe his shot-first approach will destroy the chemistry that developed during his absence.

Any back and forth about practice and medical reports is a smokescreen. Nothing more. A messy divorce has been brewing for years and both sides are positioning themselves for what comes after their inevitable break up.

And while they won’t be fighting over the golden retriever, shiny BMW, 3000 square foot mansion, or even the ice cube trays in the freezer, their split  – as Friday’s alleged shouting match between coach Rick Adelman and the former All-Star showed – has the potential to get downright nasty. Here’s why:

Like any divorce, the bottom line is, well, the bottom line. McGrady’s max deal expires July 1st and he must suit up to generate interest in next summer’s free agent market. Conversely, reports indicate an insurance company has been paying the swing’s contract since last season. Word is the less he plays, the less salary Houston pays.

The dreaded r-word, ‘respect’, is also an issue. McGrady feels his past should hold weight today and, fair or not, wants more of a say in his comeback. However, the organization moved on long ago and doesn’t believe McGrady – with a mixed legacy of individual success and post-season failures – is entitled to much, if anything.

On some level, hard feelings have to exist. McGrady probably thinks the organization, by dictating the terms of his return, doesn’t value his past contributions and is blaming him for all those first round defeats. Of course, management saw McGrady’s sudden commitment to rehab and must have wondered why he didn’t work to strengthen his brittle body in the past.

Hopefully, Houston and McGrady can both move on. Like all high profile partnerships, a quick and clean divorce is unlikely, especially after this week’s drama.

Got thoughts on Houston and T-Mac? Is an ugly divorce inevitable? Get at us with thoughts in the comment box below and follow Oly’s work on HoopsVibe The Blog and Twitter. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison.