Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 at 11:00 am  |  32 responses

Tracy McGrady Admits He Didn’t Practice Hard

Not exactly an Iversonian rant, but after hearing criticisms from his former coach and GM in Houston, T-Mac fesses up that he rarely went hard during team practices. HoopsHype reports: “The two-time scoring champion and seven-time All-Star, far removed from his marquee days following numerous injuries, doesn’t believe he would have attained even higher levels had he worked harder. But McGrady does admit there was an area he was lacking in during his heyday. ‘I just wasn’t a great practice player,’ McGrady said. ‘I just wasn’t. I wasn’t.’ Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston two weeks ago, Jeff Van Gundy, who coached McGrady with Houston from 2004-07, and current Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who traded McGrady in February 2010 to New York, both said McGrady’s tremendous ability led him to not always work hard. McGrady doesn’t deny his talent affected how he played in practice . ‘That could be it,’ McGrady said. ‘I just think I could cruise through practice and still be effective. Some guys have to really go (all) out to really have an impact on practice. My ability was just I had God-given talent to where I could just cruise through practice and still be an effective practice player… I was inconsistent. Some days, I have really good (practice) days where I just go hard and a lot of days where like, ‘Uh,’ and I just go through the motions. But I work hard. But I’m just not the best practice player.’ McGrady’s contention is he worked hard individually, if not in practice, to become a star and someone who still could land in the Hall of Fame. But Van Gundy and Morey were critical of his overall work ethic.”

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  • burnt_chicken

    i forgot that Tracy and Wince are family. Something just jogged my memory though…

  • Riggs

    and fire is hot.

  • Fat Lever

    That right there explains the difference between someone like T-Mac and someone like Kobe or Duncan or KG. T-Mac will go down as a top 100 player. Kobe/Duncan/KG each will go down as no worse than top 5 in their position all time.

  • http://www.boogiewilliams.com Boing Dynasty

    Mac was the best player in the NBA for 2/3 years.

  • knicksvet82

    But I work hard? Did he really say that?!

  • runNgun

    Damn it… we talkin’ ’bout practice.

  • Cizzo

    That exlpains why he fell off… He lost alot of cool point on that one there… Real baller never took or take the day off…. No wonder why he’s a half a season away from being out of the league…

  • http://slamonline.com Yknot

    As fragile as he is, going hard in practice may have backfired. No Homo


    Tracy McGrady is the anti-Grant Hill.

  • http://www.lacuevacrosscountry.com Slick Nick Da Ruler

    The Rockets were never truly invested in wining at the elite NBA championship level. They were focused on leveraging Yao’s global appeal to influence the Rocket’s brand. Tracy realized that the team would always be focused on Yao, and T-Mac cashed out and played hard when he wanted. Morey & JVG suggesting that harder practices and better work ethic would somehow change the injuries of Yao & TMac is a sad case of revisionist history. There’s a reason marquee players dont want to play in Houston, and theres a reason that JVG is not coaching in the NBA.

  • greg

    well he obviously worked hard on his induvidual skills to become a great a great player.

  • First & Foremost

    Being in better shape might have saved him the injuries. T-Mac was just too good for his own good. Him getting into the HOF, as time goes by and his inconsistent production over the tail end of his career will be his down fall.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk


  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    New Rule:
    “You’re only as good as…your last practice”.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign greg.

  • DeeDaw

    Well he is related to Vince Carter…

  • Jer dawg

    So it was always an insult to put McGrady and Kobe in the same level of greatness five years back. Yep, Mac just lowered his rep.

  • http://http//portlandfan1203.blogspot.com Karley

    T-Mac shouldnt be Hall of fame yes his talent is unbelievable and with the help of Yao his team could win but he has never been at the top. I just dont se him as a hall of famer

  • 2KInsider

    I just dropped my coffee in slow motion. What a total shock. I remember watching a video on him where he said he didn’t practice too much because the game came so easy to him.

  • Desert Storm

    Says the man with glass legs

  • robb

    Vince is half man and tmac is the other half i suppose

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    robb FTW.

  • ThaWindy

    No story here…

  • Justin

    Leave it to runNgun to regurgitate the Iverson thing. Pathetic

  • Yesse

    This really explains why his game got worse, well also a couple of injuries.

  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    never liked him, and it’s no surprise to know he didn’t practiced hard. That’s the difference between someone good a few years and those who will see his name go down in history. T-Mac had all the talent, but was never a winner in my eyes and I don’t expect him to make the HOF.

  • dsleepy

    man how amazing could this guy have truly been if he had a kobe-type of work ethic.

  • Justin

    @dsleepy…no kidding! MJ always used to say he would work harder in practice because putting in such hard work there made the games easier. Too many guys would rather just get by on their natural athleticism but with the rigors of the road and some of the physical beatings they can take on a nightly basis it takes a huge toll on their bodies. They don’t hit the gym enough so their bodies are ready for it. You know, for TMac to say that is really an insult to the fans and teammates in whichever city he played for. When you’re getting paid millions of dollars, you owe it to the fans and the organization to bust your ass and do everything you can every night, not just in games.

  • Will Lee

    thats god’s piece of work. that separates him from kobe

  • Chi_Town_Crazy

    Tracy McGrady has always owned a full court basketbal court in every one of his homes since his days in Orlando.

    If he didn’t always practice hard with his teammates at the arena he was definately getting it in on the practice court at home.

    He wouldn’t be able to do half the amazing things he has done with a basketball without working hard on his game.

    God blessed him with the height, wingspan, and perhaps a natural proclivity to understand the game of basketball in a way that some have to study hard to grasp.

    But the shooting, dribbling, passing, all of that is on you to master and perfect.

    When Tracy first came in the league he didn’t have a jumpshot and his body wasn’t developed. I remember on draft night they compared him to Scottie Pippen and said he was a athletic, had good ball handling skills, nobody knew he had the kind of game that he displayed in Orlando.

    He was suppose to be a complimentary player to Grant Hill.

    So how did he go from being projected to being a sidekick like Pippen to being the next Jordan If he didn’t practice ?

    That’s all I’m saying..

  • knicksvet82

    No HOF vote.

  • monkeyball