Saturday, January 3, 2009

Express Post - Tracy McGrady Mails it in (again !) Against the Toronto Raptors

Houston Rockets guard/forward, Tracy McGrady has been constantly teased throughout his 12-year career for having that "sleepy-look" about him. His heavy eyelids give him an appearance like he's just gotten up out of bed...wake up T-Mac, you've got a game to play !

His dozey eyes haven't affected his ability to play in the NBA, but McGrady certainly conspires to the old theory of "hard work never killed anybody...but why take the risk".

Friday night in Toronto against McGrady's former team, the Raptors, T-Mac didn't feel much inspired to "stick it" to his old team. When a lot of players find that little bit of extra motivation playing against their ex, McGrady instead decided to take the night off.

Rockets beat reporter Jonathon Feigen from the Houston Chronicle sums up very accurately a play that McGrady opted out of against in the 94-73 loss to the Raptors. T-Mac just didn't fancy playing defense, in fact, he barely bothered to show up for the game at all, scoring just four points on nine field goal attempts. A steady reminder of what much of McGrady's career has been.

He would like to win, but he doesn't really want to, especially not if it means he has to try too hard.

Look at his awful playoff record. Seven trips to the post season, seven first-round failures. And it is ok to use the word "failure" with him despite making the playoffs so many times.

Once one of the most exciting players to watch, he now looks burnt out and bored. He treats life in the NBA like its all a bit of a hassle to him and it shows in his attitude and performance. If he doesn't feel like playing, he just mails it in.

Like he did last night.

Playing against the Raptors - hardly one of the most intimidating teams in the league - McGrady just decided he wasn't in the mood. And that sort of attitude is accepted in this current NBA.

“(Effort) is something we’re obviously not giving right now,” McGrady said after the game.

A shrug of the shoulders from a guy earning millions of dollars after he suggests that effort is a part of the game that can't be controlled.

It's ridiculous that he can use such a limp excuse for a weak performance and he is not chastised more for severely for it. With McGrady, most fans have come to accept it.

That's why he'll never be a true winner.

How can McGrady, as the supposed leader of the Rockets, take his 21-12 team into battle against the 12-20 and short handed Raptors - who had lost four-in-a-row at home - and let them get blown out by 21 points?

We all remember McGrady abruptly ending a press conference two seasons ago, with tears in his eyes. His Rockets had just blown a 2-0 lead in the first-round series against the Utah Jazz. Lost for words at his latest failure, but dressed sharply in an expensive designer suit, he just picked up and walked out.

Sadly for McGrady's legion of fans, it's become an all too familiar sight.

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