I think I have figured out the key to Tracy McGrady's "success"...
it only took back-to-back sleepless nights. Yes, things like this keep me up at night. With regularity. What can I say? I like winning. And I hate losing. It's why I am a JVG fan. But anyway...
You see, T-Mac has survived 11 years in the NBA on a simple formula. Maybe not as simple as the Underpants Gnomes, but it's close. Hell, Tracy could almost apply for a business method patent on this. A sample:
What is claimed is:
1. A method for making millions of dollars (American), selling millions more jerseys (China) and then getting everyone's hopes up (for residents of Orlando or Houston), comprising the steps of:
signing a big shoe contract before playing a first professional game;
abandoning a team that drafted you at a first opportunity;
eschewing fundamentals for opportunities at a fancy dunk attempt;
scoring at least about 60 points in a regular season game against a non-playoff caliber team;
shooting at least about five ill-timed three-point attempts per game;
quitting on a team;
sulking after said quitting;
demanding to be traded after said quitting on the team;
claiming it is "all about winning" when not understanding a single concept of winning;
failing to appear in a fourth quarter of a game (playoff or otherwise);
and passing blame to an easy scapegoat.
You see, this realization hit me like a bucket of cold water last night. Tracy McGrady could have been a top 10 player of all time. He had more talent than Kobe. He was taller than Kobe. I think he could even jump higher at one time. But Tracy never had the same goals... or at least lacked the same drive to win.
After last night, when Tracy had an OUTSTANDING first three quarters -- he got my hopes up. I found myself a Tracy fan again. Then the fourth quarter started. I found myself looking for T-Mac. But he disappeared. Again.
[JUST like the Utah series last year. And the year before that.]
And, thus, we have "Tracy McGrady" in a nutshell. When your team simply needs two points and a layup will suffice... Tracy will take a contested/off-balance 3. When your team actually needs Tracy to take the clutch shot, Tracy will pass. Invariably to the one guy who shouldn't be shooting (*cough*Rafer!*cough*). When your team needs a defensive stop... Tracy's back will spasm and freeze up from the stress.
Then Tracy will act dumbfounded as to why anyone would question him. Then he gives everyone the "sad eyes" look. And soon thereafter, we will feel sorry for him and all is forgiven... only to have the entire process repeated.
We are suckers.