I have probably spent too much time already this postseason living vicariously through Tracy McGrady. The whole NBA world is happy for McGrady finally playing out of the first round for the first time in his career.
McGrady entered the NBA Finals for the first time Sunday night in San Antonio's blowout loss to Miami. He did not score in playing eight minutes and missing his only shot of the game. He is still looking for his first points of this postseason.
Playing time is not what McGrady has been about in signing with the Spurs. He wanted just to have the experience of playing in the Finals, as he tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld:
I told [Tim Duncan] he better get me one, sh–. After all the stuff I’ve went through in my career? Sh–, I’m probably one of the only ‘stars’ in this league that had to go through a lot of this sh–. Not too much help in Orlando, when I was really on top of my game. The struggle to find talent to put around myself and Yao Ming in Houston. It was tough. … That’s just been the story of my career. Playing four years down there in Orlando, wishing that I had Grant Hill. Playing in Houston, not having Yao Ming. Then, when they do advance, I’m not playing. It’s just been part of my career.
McGrady still draws fascination and attention at Finals media gatherings, as Kennedy notes. He still is a player that matters.
Unfortunately, his analysis and frustration (in retrospect and somewhat at the time) over his time in Orlando is probably right. The McGrady era with the Magic is ultimately one full of disappointment because of the injuries to Grant Hill and the franchise's inability to put together a decent supporting cast.
McGrady went on in the article to talk about the disappointment of his late-career role -- particularly with the Hawks -- and his time playing in China. It is still possible McGrady retires after this year, having completed the trip to the Finals.