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.