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The Fall of Tracy McGrady: Death of a Superstar

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 20:  Tracy McGrady #3 of the New York Knicks gestures against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden on February 20, 2010 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Curtis FinchumCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2010

How many players in the league can you name that have scored thirteen points in thirteen seconds to perform an absolutely stunning comeback over the San Antonio Spurs? Only one, since Kobe Bryant has help and LeBron either torches his opponents or falls just short.

What ever happened to the artist formally known as T-Mac? Tracy McGrady has fallen from the graces that once held him as a league scoring champion while putting him in the mix as the heir apparent to Michael Jordan.

McGrady has now suited up for four teams and has completely burned any chances at returning to two of them. His exits from Orlando and Houston have many questioning if he'll be willing to do what he must do as he's entering the twilight of his career: become a role player.

But it's not just his head that terrifies teams away from him—it's also his health. After having micro-fracture surgery in 2009, McGrady has yet to play an entire season, managing to only appear in 30 games last year with the New York Knicks.

McGrady is joined by Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson as former superstars who are now falling out of the NBA's graces. However, McGrady may have a bit more in the tank than his counterparts and, should he accept the his role as a veteran bench player, his phone will begin to blow up. 

As of now, however, he has continued to state that he wishes to "prove himself" to the extent that he can still be an effective starter in the league. Offensively, McGrady might have it, but with his speed and quickness rapidly depleting due to his knee, he could become a serious liability on the defensive end. 

Guards who have yet to enter the true peak of their prime, like Dwayne Wade and Brandon Roy for example, could eat McGrady alive. This is yet another thing that scares teams away from him. 

McGrady, though, never being known as a great leader or mentor, has shown flashes that keep people really curious if he can successfully return to being a reliable player. However, for a team like the Chicago Bulls, whom he recently worked out for, he is seriously unneeded. 

McGrady wants to be given the kind of load and responsibility that he received while playing in Orlando and Houston. Well, he has a few options to consider if they'll give him a chance. 

Cleveland, New Orleans, the Los Angeles Clippers, or even a return to the city that drafted him...Toronto. Almost all these teams are in a rebuilding process, while New Orleans is simply in a remodeling process (as long as they hang onto All-Star Chris Paul). 

Cleveland, however, would be a prime fit for McGrady—a team distraught with the loss of their "savior" could not be driven any farther past disappointment if he were to fail. 

But in all reality, his meter is running empty and T-Mac should either accept it and become a role player or transform into the next Iverson as he attempts to force himself into a starting role. 

The era of "T-Mac to the rack!" is over. The scoring champion he once was is dead and gone. 

 

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