It never fails. It really, truly, never fails. Tracy "You Better Still Call Me T-Mac" Mcgrady is at it again.
This happens every time we show the slightest hint of optimism about him, every time a sliver of hope peaks through the shroud of darkness that has been Tracy Mcgrady's tenure as a Rocket: he squashes it.
To stay recent with my examples, after a phenomenal 2008 Playoffs he announced he needed shoulder and knee surgery, quelling any ideas that he was for once fully healthy.
Last season he distracted and restricted the team, trying to play through an injury while making sure everybody knew that he was, in fact, injured by looking absolutely miserable on the floor, shooting like it was 2003 and then destroying any chance we had at trading him by announcing the day before the trade deadline that he would be getting microfracture surgery.
Now, after weeks of stories about how motivated he is and how well he is progressing, apparently Mcgrady and Adelman had a heated exchange before Wednesday night's Timberwolves game about when he would return.
Mcgrady was frustrated by what he perceived as a lack of communication between him and the organization, and continued his passive-aggressive assault on the Rockets by suiting up for the game and shooting around before actually approaching Adelman. The confrontation was icy at best and sources even said that shouting could be heard coming from the coach's office.
This is not a new story, rather just the resurgence of an old one. Mcgrady and the Rockets, and Adelman to be more specific, do not get along. What Mcgrady doesn't understand, though, is that the Rockets do not need him this season. The team is more than happy to continue the way it has been, fighting hard every night and winning enough to make it worthwhile.
Yes, we probably need Mcgrady to truly contend for the title, but not if he's going to act like a prima donna. We need the Mcgrady that played for us from January to April of 2008, the selfless leader who led a defense, rebounded hard, distributed as a first option instead of a last resort and cold-bloodedly took over games when he had to.
I know, I've romanticized what Mcgrady was during those three months, but compared to what he is now that's hardly an exaggeration. Mcgrady is still scheduled to undergo an MRI before the team clears him to return, and I'm guessing that the organization will choose a course of action based on the results of the scan.
If Mcgrady is in fact fully healthy and ready to return, he and Adelman need to work out whatever the hell is bothering them if we're going to get anywhere this year. By actually talking to one another . Otherwise, things like this will continue to happen.
Now, in spite of all this, I just want to establish that I'm still very, very excited for Mcgrady's return. This teams potential with an invested, motivated T-Mac is off the charts. If he understands how great he can be without shooting contested, step-back 20 footers every time he touches the ball we can truly be a special team.
If he realizes how talented of a passer he is and how badly we need him to run the offense, we can be dominant. If he puts the Rockets as a whole before himself, and disproves his doubters with his teammates rather than in spite of them, we're a title contender. Damn, that's a lot of if's.