by Marcel Mutoni

A torrent of criticism made its way towards Tracy McGrady following a road loss to the Toronto Raptors this past Friday. It had a lot to do with his effort in the game (or lack thereof) – check out the clip of the game highlights, and peep the sequence beginning at the 1:30 mark when Tracy lets Jamario Moon walk right by him for an uncontested dunk – and how tough it is for the Rockets to deal with his situation.

According to McGrady, the press and fans can criticize all they want; shoot, he’ll even join in:

“I criticize myself,” McGrady said Monday. “I can take it from anybody, from everybody. I know my ability. And when I do get right, all that … is put to rest. So kick me when I’m down, because I swear to you, I’ll be back up. And when I get back up, I’m going to sit back, and I’m going to laugh, man, because I’m going to have the last laugh. Right now, I’m down. I’m physically down.”

One person who Mac isn’t getting any sympathy from is his coach, who thinks Tracy could be going a little harder in games and practice:

“That’s what he has to do,” Adelman said. “He has to be aggressive no matter what. The other night, we were playing poorly as a team, and he became very unaggressive. He can’t play that way, (or) he’s not going to get through it or out of it, and we aren’t going to be any good…Like I told him today, ‘There’s going to be times you’re going to succeed and times you’re going to fail, but that shouldn’t have an effect on how hard you play. You have to play through the good times and the bad times.’”

McGrady says it’s not over for him, and that the criticism only serves as motivation. It all sounds true and sincere, but one can hardly be blamed for having a tough time buying into it.