Tracy McGrady should learn from Allen Iverson’s mistakes, not repeat them
The Quick Hit: Recently, former superstar Tracy McGrady told reporters, despite his lacklustre play and mediocre health, he wouldn’t sign with a team this summer that asked him to serve as sixth-man.
McGrady, of course, believes he’s a still starter. And McGrady also believes he hasn’t ‘fallen off’ to where he’s a reserve.
Forgive me, but didn’t we just see this song and dance? Didn’t we just see first ballot Hall of Fame guard Allen Iverson commit career suicide by refusing a lesser role for the Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies?
Instead of stubbornly resisting the inevitable like Iverson, McGrady, for several reasons, should embrace the transition from high profile lead to invaluable understudy.
McGrady is no longer ‘T-Mac’, the high-flying swing capable of dropping 35 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists per night. Father time, a micro fractured knee, and brittle body means he’ll never relive the past as an elite player.
He could still contribute, though. And coming off the bench as a designated scorer would be ideal; for instance, McGrady could check in and provide an instant lift by torching opposing second units.
As sixth-man, there’d be less strain on his wonky knee and fragile back. As sixth-man, he could use his length to defend like the shy teenager who trapped and harassed the hell out of opponents for the Toronto Raptors.
Most importantly, as sixth-man, he could enjoy himself –something that has been in short supply of late.
Sounds like a win-win situation; however, the ego of a declining superstar isn’t rational.
Consider that McGrady never led his team past the first round of the playoffs. Consider that McGrady still speaks of joining a contender and competing for an NBA Title.
For the critics, such talk is cheap. They allege that McGrady never sacrificed to win. Never will, either. It was always about ‘T-Mac’, they said. His recent demand to start in 2010-11 only reinforces what they’ve always believed.
The coming off-season provides an opportunity. Suppose McGrady works on his body all summer with super trainer Tim Grover and signs with the San Antonio Spurs. Coach Gregg Popovich could make Manu Ginobili the full time starter and use McGrady as his game changing reserve.
Not only is the role and situation perfect, but the optics would impress. Former superstar takes less money, minutes, and shots because he wants to win. The critics would be silenced and McGrady would get rewarded with a run of playoff basketball.
Rather than repeating Iverson’s mistakes, McGrady should learn from them. Failure to do so could mean the end of his career.
Is McGrady still a starter? Why? Why not? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia 76ers.