On Tracy McGrady, the Hall of Famer 

  • I still get sad when I see the name Tracy McGrady.  I get sad when commemorative videos of his career default to the 13 in 33.  While that event no doubt was a remarkable spectacle, McGrady’s career was, and should have been, so much more.  If maybe not the punctuation of a title (the way discussion of Olajuwon is always followed by mention of the mid 90’s championships he won), at the least, McGrady’s career should have reflected a half-decade era of excellence, like Steve Nash’s run with the Suns.  Instead, just a fleeting half-minute, in an otherwise meaningless game that just happened to be on TNT.  I could possibly write a book on McGrady.  I’ve said previously that, in my opinion, nothing could ever exceed the excitement regarding his arrival to Houston.  He wasn’t hope and potential as was a then-23 year old James Harden when acquired for Kevin Martin; and he wasn’t on the downside carrying red flags as was Dwight Howard.  He was, at worst, the second best player in the entire league, in the heart of his prime, joining another top 10 player. 
  • The point is even further underscored now in light of last season’s divorce between the Rockets’ most recent superstar pairing, but the remarkable aspect of the Yao-McGrady marriage was that they actually got along.  McGrady picked Houston because of Yao, and while Howard did the same due to Harden, Yao was actually deferential.  Their games meshed and McGrady was content to feed Yao for most of the game until his own time came in the fourth.  The ‘what could have been’ does not just extend to health but also ‘what could have been’ had Daryl Morey been general manager at the time, littering the roster with the type of help he’s found every year for James Harden.
  • I tweeted the other night that quite a few promising young big men have sprouted up out of the ashes of late, in what seems to be sort of a mini-renaissance.  And I thought to myself watching Nurkic, the way I did watching Jokic: while Dwight Howard still provides value on the boards, and while Clint Capela has his weaknesses, it would be truly depressing right now to be committed long term to Howard at a max salary when his overall production is at best on par with some of these rookie-scale big men. 
  • I’m still in New York, without my laptop, and thus, no ‘week in review’ or ‘week ahead’ this weekend.  But here’s a preview and a recap for those who can’t live without those features: I’m so over the regular season, and I’ve been over the regular season for over a week. 






About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

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