Last night marked current Detroit Pistons forward Tracy McGrady's first visit to the Houston Rockets home arena, where he was spent 6 years as the star and team's leader. While McGrady put up big numbers for the Rockets (he averaged 20+ points in all but 2 seasons) he was often injured and the Rockets never made it out of the first round of the playoffs, which McGrady shouldered most of the blame for.
(remember this press conference?)
After the Pistons got spanked by the Rockets, McGrady was interviewed by the local media regarding his return to Houston, the fans reactions, and also how his career in Houston ended:
"It wasn't my fault it ended the way it did, but yeah, I regret it," McGrady said. "I want to know who they're blaming around here now that I'm gone."
McGrady has made more headlines with his commentary this season than he has with his play for the Pistons. Just over a week ago he gave his point of view on the 'Big 3' down in South Beach. And if you remember, it was his comments on wanting to be a starter after a workout with the Bulls that scared them off from offering him a contract.
I've always been a McGrady fan as he was one of the most talented and exciting players in the NBA during the last decade. He led the league in scoring when he was with Olrando and gave us a number of highlights. McGrady also was one of the classiest individuals in the league. It's sad to see what injuries have done to his abilities and him coming off the bench for less than 20 minutes a game (and throwing in only 4.1 points).
McGrady is only 31 so he may have a couple solid seasons left in him, but the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be near for T-Mac. Hopefully he can land on a title contender and get that coveted ring before he calls it quits (ala Glen Rice with the Lakers back in 2000).
Here's some highlights of what McGrady used to be (somewhere, LTSB's @lostherod is shaking his head)