Tracy McGrady: God-Given Talent Hinders Your Practice Habits
We all know Tracy McGrady is a talented player. When healthy and in the prime of his career, McGrady was one of the most explosive players in the NBA. What hindered him at times was his work ethic. As you may remember, former Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy and GM Daryl Morey said last year that McGrady could be a Hall of Famer if he worked harder in practice. Now that he is coming toward the end of his career, McGrady is willing to admit they are right.
“I’m just not a great practice player,” McGrady said in an interview with Chris Tomasson of FoxSports.com. “That’s what I wasn’t. I was a gamer. You put me in a game and the lights are bright and the stands are filled. That’s just what I was. But you practice, get up and down and do this. That wasn’t my thing.
“The crazy thing about it is… there’s a lot of players like that. People are so scared to really voice who they are. They want to be politically correct. Just scared to see what other people’s perceptions are… When you have God-given talent, I think that that kind of hinders your practice habits and that’s what I think it did to me. Had I not been so talented, I probably would have busted my (butt) in practice.”
Very few players actually enjoy practice. McGrady is right in saying a lot of players dog it during practice, but I don’t think talent necessarily has anything to do with it. There are some players who feel entitled and think they don’t have to practice as hard, but there are plenty of talented players who give it 100 percent. In fact, they are all talented — that’s why they’re in the NBA.
To me this is a cop out by McGrady. You didn’t practice hard because you didn’t want to. That has very little — if anything — to do with talent. Just as there are plenty of crappy players who are crappy because they never put in effort during practice, there are plenty of players with “God-given” talent who have gotten better by busting their humps.