It’s not the Goodbyes that hurt; it’s the flashbacks that follow.
Tracy McGrady bid farewell to the game as he retired in the NBA for good. It wasn’t how he wanted to end his career, but he doesn’t have much choice either. After injuring his knee, he never really got back to his old form.
Malcolm Gladwell the author of the best-selling book entitled “Outliers: The Story of Success” said that the key to success in any field coincides with at least 10,000 hours of practice. But for Tracy Mcgrady, as what his former Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said, that he had only 1000 hours practice.
We heard of Kobe Bryant’s work ethic, Lebron James practicing until the wee hours in the morning or Ray Allen’s 1000 three point shots a day. Tracy relied mostly on his skills alone, he did go to practices but he never went beyond what is expected. Although it took him to scoring titles and playoff appearances but it never got him beyond a semi-finals appearance.
He could have been the best or win championships in return but somehow fate has played a different game.
Tracy was considered to be a mixture of Scottie Pippen’s defense and Michael Jordan’s offense. He is tall, lanky and can play multiple positions. A seven time all-star and two time scoring champion. Tracy’s career jumped from high school to the NBA molded in the same path with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett and when Kobe and KG are still enjoying their last piece of limelight, Tracy had to go through different NBA teams and even a stint in China just to get a glimpse of his former self.
Injuries took all that away from Mcgrady. He could have played wiser, or better yet could have practice harder. But that is what it is, a remnant of his old self who barely nudged a minute of playing time while he was a member with the San Antonio Spurs.
It was a long shot from being significant again but it’s worth the try. Somehow Tracy got back in towards the NBA’s 450 spots with development league, undrafted and overseas players surrounding the NBA. And if it was five years ago you would never thought that this could happen to one of the leagues athletic wing man.
Tracy Mcgrady would be forever remembered when he scored 13 points in 35 seconds against the San Antonio Spurs. It was a testament of his scoring prowess.
It wasn’t the right ending we thought Mcgrady could have. But it was somehow the way we wanted. Nobody stays in the game forever.
What if Tracy practices more than 10,000 hours a day? What if he joined Chicago instead of teaming up with Grant Hill in Orlando… what ifs…?
At least Tracy Mcgrady tried something that Allen Iverson, Steve Francis and a good number of veteran players failed to do.
And he almost won a championship in return.
Thank you for the memories… TMAC.