Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 at 3:04 pm  |  36 responses

T-Mac: The Newest Bad Boy

Will McGrady fail in Detroit like past superstars?

by Eric Woodyard / @eric32woodyard

Once a superstar, always a superstar.

It’s now confirmed that Tracy McGrady will officially be taking his talents to the Motor City for the ‘10-11 NBA season. Reflecting on his dazzling career, it quickly brought back memories of not the old T-Mac but better yet the T-Mac of old.

The cocked eye. The swagger. The flashy signature adidas. The superstar!

Although he’s clearly on the downside of his career, he comes at no risk to the franchise by signing a one-year, $1.3 million contract. Seven years ago, the thought of him joining forces with the Bad Boys would have been absurd.

He was the cream of the crop. He was the face of a franchise. His swagger was at its peak.

In the ‘02-03 season, T-Mac became the NBA’s youngest scoring champion, averaging 32.1 buckets per game. He was also considered by many as the League’s best all-around player. ThenTracy McGrady he delivered a Jordan-esque individual performance against the Pistons in the ’03 Playoffs dropping 31.7 points per game.

Despite McGrady’s amazing antics, the Magic still failed to reach the second round of the Playoffs. Even after taking a commanding 3-1 series lead as the eighth seed against the number one seed. After McGrady’s comments prior to Game 5 in which he was quoted as saying how wonderful it was to “finally be in the position to advance to the second round,” he and his troops lost Games 5, 6 and 7 by an average of more than 20 points. Detroit would advance to the next round.

It doesn’t matter what point they are at in their careers, it never seems to work. The trend stays the same: Superstars just can’t play in the Motor City.

Bob McAdoo tanked. Allen Iverson quit.

It’s because players are supposed to become stars in the D.

Isiah Thomas set the tone. Jerry Stackhouse lit up the League. Chauncey Billups was sculpted into one of the best floor generals of his era.

At this point of his career, what makes Tracy McGrady different? Did anyone inform him of how cold it is in the D? It’s gotten so bad that the Little Caesars pizza mogul, Mike Ilitch, has been trying to step in to buy the team so that the franchise won’t get shipped out of town. Last season they stunk up the League, finishing with a 27-55 overall record. This offseason they weren’t even in contention for any big name free agents as they used most of their cap space last summer.

McGrady will also be entering a roster full of wing players which includes Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon, Austin Daye and Charlie Villanueva. Determination will have to will him through.

Last season, McGrady’s determination was on display as he showed the Pistons that he still had something left in the tank. Making his first start of the season after coming to New York at the trading deadline, McGrady had his most complete game in years. He posted 21 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds as the Knicks snapped a six-game home losing streak by defeating Detroit 128-104 at Madison Square Garden on March 3, 2010.

He would only go on to average 9.4 points in 24 games due to his inability to withstand the pounding of consistent minutes, but this won’t be the case this season. The Pistons will use McGrady as nothing more than a spark off the bench which sources have quoted him as saying he would be willing to do. His new teammate, Charlie Villanueva, has showed his support in the signing of the legend by going on the record to mention McGrady with a tweet earlier today saying: “@TheReal_TMAC It’s official, welcome to Detroit Basketball. Doubters will become believers, all will witness your delivery. Let’s get this!”

The seven-time NBA All-Star is gone. The two-time first-team All-NBA star is a memory. The two-time scoring champion no longer exists. Although history isn’t in his favor, deep down I hope that T-Mac can make one last run and prove that a superstar can shine in Detroit.

Take a trip down memory lane…

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  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Although I don’t expect much from him this season, a part of me still wishes he could light it up like before.

  • Kundai

    @niq. its because he never got the chance to flourish i feel the same way for him he tried so hard to move on in the playoffs. like 36- 16 and 10 in the game 7 lose to the jazz, when he cried after.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Im not a fan of Mac, but think it would be very good for the NBA if he had a huge impact and stayed injury-free, taking the Pistons back to the playoffs.. Just dont see how T-Mac, Hamilton, and Gordon are all gonna share playing time…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    he must have the most in game passes of the glass to himself in league history.

  • Atrain

    Now hell never win a playoff series

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    @ allen – he also has the most 3′s in the last 33 seconds of a game to beat the Spurs in NBA history I think…

  • total scrotal implosion

    Going back to where all his problems started, where grant hills ankle turned to volcanic glass, forcing mac to shoulder, knee, and back an entire franchise. Health and fitness

  • hoodsnake

    @Allenp & wayno: he also holds the record for the biggest paycut in League history: 93 percent

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    32.1 buckets per game? I don’t think points and buckets are interchangeable in this context..
    @allenp – I think Kobe has more.

  • http://www.pardonthedopeness.blogspot.com DP

    I wish T-Mac the best and I always wonder what would be if dude didn’t have such a messed up medical history. He would still be top 10 in the L as players go if he wasn’t injured. Oh well, Grant Hill syndrome hit him and hopefully he has a Grant Hill type resurgence.

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    Said this in the other thread, but still: Only reason they signed him is because the team had done nothing this offseason. Creates some fan interest, makes it seem like they’re tying to get better blah blah. “Hey we signed T-Mac, we’re didn’t just stand pat”. In reality, this move doesn’t change their win total one bit.

  • Drew

    Like DP said, I hope he can get back some of it like Grant Hill.

  • EJ

    This is kinda boring, I wish he’d stayd in NY or went to Chicago.

  • http://nbacheapseats.blogspot.com Chendaddy

    T-Pain hasn’t been a star since moving to Houston when injuries and playing with Yao turned him into a jump shooter. Dude hasn’t shot over 44% since that 32.1 ppg season. Btw, he had a 25-5-13 in that Game 7 against the Jazz, but at least it was on 48% shooting. He was even better the next year in the Game 6 playoff loss to the Jazz, going 40-10-5 on 50%. When the pressure was on, T-Pain turned it on. But dude hobbled through the regular season and could never shake those injuries.

  • spit hot fiyah

    @tealish i saw that too, does that mean he had an avg of 64,2 ppg?

  • Shawn C. Autrey

    T-Mac is back, and only time will tell. I use to have arguments about who’s better KOBE or TMAC. It seems unreal, but both of these guys are the same age. Once again only time will tell. NEVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF


    Tracy McGrady’s career could have turned out a LOT better if he just stayed with Orlando, and played with Dwight Howard.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ The Promise

    I wish him the best, he has been though a lot, I wish he could make some noise before he calls it quits, though its unlikely.

  • http://nicekicks.com meloman2.0

    @ IAMORANGE: Or if he stayed with VC in Toronto

  • Dagger

    I firmly believe that had things just worked out a little bit differently we could have been talking about Tmac being one of the top 10 best players in NBA history. In his prime he really had it all.

  • http://kb24.com DreXnaW21

    this my 1st time watchin this dude play, i never thought T-Mac was that good

  • http://slamonline.com CB 34

    @allen; No the most in game passes to himself is jamal crawford.

  • http://twitter.com/darrellma dma

    Damn TMac was my favorite player in high school and college. It’s a shame how much he and AI have fallen. I blame that crazy eye of his. Or the really bad drafting of John Gabriel/Magic.. Jerryl Sasser, Mario Kasun, Ryan Humphrey, and Reece Gaines. He’s the original Danny Granger.

  • JoeMaMa

    Austin Daye, Villenueva, Prince, Hamilton, McGrady, Gordon. Stacked wings…actually, too many. Does this finally push Hamilton and/or Prince out via trade? I’m not saying McGrady is the answer, but I’m thinking the Pistons want Daye some more minutes, get Prince’s salary off the books, and get a good young big. Everyone knows the Pistons aren’t going to the playoffs, so Dumars can tinker and set his team up nicely for next year, while the ghost of TMac gets a few more people in the stands.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    I think if Rip and Tay go T-Mac will get enuff mins/shots and touches to prove everyone wrong and he will. Dudes been training with Jordans trainer and hes probably in crazi shape.

  • Morgan

    Far too injury prone to make any impact on a team. I hope Michael Redd is taking notes..

  • http://www.remixcomic.com Nodizzel

    I don’t care about his injuries. His playoff numbers don’t lie the dude stepped up come playoff time. Injuries are an unfortunate part of sports. Just appreciate what he brought to the sport the guy was a wonder to watch, I for one am happy I was able to watch him shine. Good Luck T-Mac I’ll still be rooting for you.

  • logues

    hope he tears it up like he used to, love to watch him


    @ meloman2.0 AGREED

  • http://www.threadsandkicks.com.au Eduardo

    Wish he had signed with LA to come off the bench. But still wish him all the best. Would have been alright in Charlotte too of the bench. Detroit not such a good fit. Detroit will be trading really soon as I couldn’t see them rotating Rip and Gordan together.

  • http://big11mel@yahoo.com Big Mel

    It seems like the writer trying to blame Detroit for the stars failing so bad. All the stars u named were on the down side of thier careers so don’t blame the Pistons.

  • Elijah

    why aint he stay NY esp. since amare there

  • http://thegayestwebsiteever.com Big Ben

    Maybe Arnie Kander has some of that magic dust left that he used on Dyess.

  • http://absolutemichigan.com/ farlane

    McDyess was one former star who I think found a role. Sheed was another. Neither was a perennial all star but I think that Pistons as the Elephant Graveyard of the NBA is a little much.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AceIzNice ACE

    I think my boy T-Mac is gonna prove alot of people wrong and make them bit their lip…he might not avg 32pts a gm again but he will have a impact for the Pistons and in the NBA.

  • Harrison

    How was T-Mac in college by the way? Last time I checked he came straight out of high school… who knew?