Tracy McGrady has been in the league since 1997 when he was drafted 9th overall by the Toronto Raptors. He forced his way out of Toronto after three years and went to Orlando where he led the league in scoring twice. Though T-Mac’s scoring ability and talent is undeniable, there have always been two knocks against him: he could never get out of the playoffs, and more recently, he’s been unable to stay healthy.
McGrady’s disappointing career path makes one wonder what could have been for the man who once averaged 32.1 points per game (!!!) in a season. Apparently his former coach Jeff Van Gundy and Houston’s GM, Daryl Morey still feel the same way.
Both men were in attendance for the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and the subject was Malcolm Gladwell’s book that surmises it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve greatness in a given field. According to Zach Lowe of SI who was there for the conference, both men used T-Mac as an example of underachieving.
“Tracy McGrady was 1,000 hours of practice,” Van Gundy said. “He should be a Hall of Fame player. His talent was other-worldly. He was given a great leg up in the race against other players. He’s as close as I’ve ever seen to someone with a perfect body and a good mind. I like a lot of things about Tracy McGrady. I just wish I could have changed his practice habits and his mentality.”
Morey expressed a similar regret that McGrady didn’t live up to his potential, suggesting that T-Mac was so talented it was easy for him to get by just being better than everyone else most of his career.
It’s really a shame that both men saw things the same way with McGrady because it’s easy to forget how great he once was. T-Mac may only be a bench player now, but not that long ago he was one of the premier scorers in the league. Hearing the way they talk about McGrady makes one appreciate an athlete like Kobe Bryant even more, because even in his 30s he’s still searching for ways to improve his game.
via Chris IottGoogle+