Welcome back, T-Mac

Tracy McGrady will return today to Toyota Center.  I don’t know how he’ll be received but I will applaud.  I have not forgotten the memories he gave us, carrying this team until his body could no longer allow it. I have not forgotten the sense we felt that a game was never over or that a title was within reach.  He gave us The Dunk and The Streak.  He gave us hope where it has since been absent.

I feel privileged to have watched McGrady through his prime.  Talents so rare actuate the escapism inherent in sports, letting the mind wander upon distant thoughts.

It was in the winter of 2005 that I laid in a hospital bed for an entire month.  That same month, the Houston Rockets turned their season around, pounding opponents standing in their path.  McGrady led them and he was my escape.  It was T-Mac’s play that kept me sane and kept my mind off my failing body.  It was T-Mac’s play that for a few hours each day helped me put away my worries.

I’ll always remember the day I returned, home again after thirty days.  He hit a jumper late to put away the Wolves, pulling up close from in-between as he so often did.  I laid on the couch, far too weak to climb the stairs.  He turned pain into joy, letting me live through his feats.  A game was never over with McGrady on the court.

Things did not end well for Tracy and the Rockets.  But for the memories, and the hope he gave us, I will always hold him in the highest regard.  For what he did, today I will applaud.  Welcome back, T-Mac.

All pre-game and in-game discussion about the game between the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons goes here.

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

in game coverage
  • Archangel1082

    As a NBA fan( and a Houstonian) I am glad to see T-mac still out there! He gave us alot of good memories and the streak was really amazing! It’s something i don’t think i’ll see again in my life time! He was the all-star that at the time the Rockets organization needed and before that we hadn’t seen since the Olajuwon, Drexler days…..I will always be a fan…….Thank You T-MAC!

  • nbalaw

    Mac was the greatest gift that I’ve ever given a family member. As a birthday gift to my brother, I bought him great tickets (and myself) to see the Rockets play the Hornets in win #18 of The Streak. Mac willed the team to victory that night, playing all 48 minutes and scoring 41. Uncharacteristically, the lower bowl was actually rocking and my brother and I left the game with sore throats and callused hands from all the high fives and screaming. Thank you Mac.

  • Anonymous

    I’m interested to see how he is received. I feel like there is just a very vocal minority that hates him but that the majority of Rockets fans still hold him in regard. I guess we’ll see. I will say, when Steve Francis was booed upon his return, I couldn’t remember feeling so embarrassed as a person. That was a guy who poured his heart out for this team and deserved nothing but a standing ovation.

  • Rh Rivera

    it’s a tragedy he never got out of the first round, especially since his post season production was just off the charts.

    He would have fit in amazingly on the Spurs or Mavericks.

    That said i don’t share the fond memories as much – the Streak yea that was special. But mainly i remember season after season of his balky knees keeping Rockets from getting a favorable seed.

  • Chris

    Favorite player in the NBA for a lot of his Magic and Rockets years. Sad to see him decline but that’s life. T-Mac returns to Houston = Rahat returns to Austin.

  • Patrick

    I didn’t like seeing Stevie get booed, but I’ll have no problem if McGrady sees the boo birds. He certainly poured his heart out for his team at times and almost carried us through some playoff series, but in the end, it was all about T-Mac. He looked around through multiple doctors until he found the diagnosis he wanted, he went around the Rockets backs and declared that he could be ready for the start of the season, went around their backs again to declare that he had a target date which was completely contrary to what the team said, and put the team in a bind when he asked for a trade. It was always all about him, and I have no respect for that.

  • Reread your piece about T-Mac. The T-Mac 5 piece. So truthful. I started watching basketball during the 2001-2002 season. Everything about T-Mac was so graceful. He could pretty much do anything he wanted to. I always liked him and Paul Pierce because neither had any help early in their careers but were still dominant and left it all on the court.

    http://www.red94.net/houston-rockets-tracy-mcgrady-5/1108/ – Probably one of my favorite write ups.

    I still remember that Dallas series. Yao on the bench and T-Mac doing everything on offense and defense.

  • Mike B

    Loved the guy’s game when we got him, and was ready to make him one of my all-time favorites. Unfortunately, we never put a very good supporting cast around him and our only other weapon was just as fragile as Mac. Those three first round playoff exits sucked the life out of Tracy, and it sucked the life out of me … all three so painful with such high expectations for the team. I appreciate what Tracy did for the team, but in the end, he went behind the organization’s back and ruined any kind of goodwill from the fans that he deserved.

  • Shawn

    Anyone that boos T-Mac can go fuck themselves! ^

  • Keith

    Im pretty upset about the boos. I really hate that most of our fan base does not truly appreciate what Tmac did with this team while our best role player was Juwan Howard.

  • Chris

    loved the final group out there tonight.

  • Bighuang

    Welcome T-mac back ! But there not T-mac anymore and T-mac live in my memory .And congraulations rockets win one more game! I want to say a word in chinese “再接再厉”

  • Pinche Venezolano

    this is probly the greatest post I’ve ever seen on this blog.

  • Jodorowsky

    Nobody on the court wanted to win this game more than Lowry tonight… His effort was insane…

  • Fastalkerus

    IT’S ALL ON ME! then we lost…couple of years later I HOPE THEY HAVE SOMEBODY ELSE TO BLAME BESIDES ME.

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