Tracy McGrady: One of Your Biggest Fans Is Checking Out
I'm an avid sports fan—I comment on games, follow my teams, and even participate at times.
I'm a talk radio guy. I've called in. I've gotten on several times (it's not difficult really) on various shows. I once called in to Monsters of the Midday. I made my comment on the deterioration of the athlete.
"My name is Roy..." (NOTE: Roy is my radio name; it's Anglified for enunciation purposes) "... and I'm just saying—What the hell? Since when did superstars start becoming lethargic and unwilling heroes? I mean look at running backs, we have 'dual threats' and a two back system? What the hell?"
I then trekked into familiar territory.
"Now, Tracy wants to pick and choose; oh wait, no he's a team player, so he'll let his coach chose which games he would play, as if season ticket holders weren't already subjected to crimes against humanity due to the inconsistent Rockets play. Now, it's an ankle roll of the dice or a back spasm away from knowing whether Houston's dual superstars will play."
I hung up and listened as the hosts congratulated my passion and emphasis on Tracy. It was a bitter pill to be honest.
I've liked Tracy since forever. I defend him constantly, from people who pillage his injury plagued career and lack of championships. I defend him almost to the point I actually argue he could be better than Kobe.
I suggested that Tracy would've won the Slam Dunk Contest back in the 2K if it weren't for his cousin Vince. I worshipped his game.
You know, people show respect through different means. Jerseys. Fantasy draft day. Making sure your players bio on Wikipedia hasn't been defaced. I show love through respect; for my basketball superstars, it's through shoes.
No, I don't have shoe game. I use my kicks as a symbolic gesture, just like that badge hanging off the geek who went to the last Anime Con. Pride. Honor. Stature. A statement like no other.
I had the Shawn Kemps. Yea, those ugly, hurricane inspired, pre-Spiderman movie franchise web-looking shoes, the Kamikazes. I loved Shawn Kemp. I had a couple Jordans. I had the Afernees, the Air Ups.
However, my last shoes purchased on pure idol-ism were the T-Mac 2s and T-Mac 4s, all white. I just loved his nonchalant style of play, his coolness that at times was only superseded now by Barack Obama's. Unlike our President, however, Tracy hasn't delivered any stimulus at all.
I love the Rockets, but just like their baseball brethren in Minute Maid Park, they have been underachievers. The Rockets this season have been consistently inconsistent; a team that is always on the brink.
The Rockets are just a game away, one healthy week from becoming, one season from the championship. However, I've moved on now and know that the Houston Rockets are going nowhere with Tracy at the helm.
You can complain all you want about the captain moniker and claim "What about Yao?" Come on, Yao has always been secondary! Like John Taylor to Joe Montana, like Scottie Pippen to Michael Jordan, and like Wade Phillips to Jason Garrett.
Yao was never meant to be the captain, only to be first in line after Tracy. Others would follow suit. I mean, just imagine, how can it be that Ron Artest has taken a proactive leadership role?
Tracy gave me signs—the passion of pulling 13 points in 33 seconds (against my San Antonio Spurs no less), the leadership of saying before last years' series against the Utah Jazz "It's on me...", and his raw emotion after a few tragic defeats.
Funny, Tracy did give me signs. Tracy's continued detachment from the rest of the team; the most recent example being his team and coach finding out of his season ending surgery through media outlets.
Tracy's lackluster show of leadership on the court only perpetuates his obliviousness. Maybe it's just his character. But time after time, Tracy's coolness became detachment; his nonchalant attitude became apathy. Tracy's swagger became indifference.
Tracy is content with mediocre performance. I'm not. The injury and now the waste of a season is irreversible. Look, no one likes to pick on the guy who's injured, which Tracy no doubt is.
But come on, can I have one season? One season where I don't have to wonder "What if?", or where I don't have to preface my arguments with Jazz fans as "Well, had Tracy played all the games in the season maybe..."
One, single, finite season where I can blame my championship hopes on losing to the eventual champions, the San Antonio Spurs?
But now, I'm just like Tracy.
I stopped calling in. In fact, I catch myself listening to syndicated, national sports shows that show no love to the Rockets, let alone T-Mac.
I let my friends debate his merits, but there's no argument here. "Yup, he does choke... You got a point, he doesn't bring his A game every time...Yea, I guess he should marry her already huh?" No, let my friends quibble. Sigh.
I mean, I haven't put them on a long minute. Maybe I can trade them away. I don't know, but it is hard.
I guess my TMAC IIs were getting a little worn anyways.
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