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Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 12:50 pm  |  14 responses

Numba One Stunna

Celebrate T-Mac’s 33rd birthday with a throwback Scoop Jackson interview from SLAM 46.

SLAM: What about Chicago? You made some comments in Chicago about how you trusted Jerry Krause. You’ve got to be the only player ever to…

T-Mac: I do, I trusted him. I think Jerry Krause is a good guy. Now, I could be wrong but I got a good feel from him spending time with him when I was up there.

SLAM: So the scenario of playing for the Bulls did go through your mind?

T-Mac: Oh yeah. I mean, look at the market. Chicago’s huge and the only guy they have that’s really marquee is Elton. Just by the fans in the city and the number of people there, if I played halfway decent I could have made the All-Star game, but that’s not what I’m trying to do. I ain’t gonna lie, I thought about it for a minute, but I want to win and I think that team has set itself back a couple of years.

SLAM: How stressful was this whole process of being a “super free agent?” What actually was going on in your mind during that whole period?

T-Mac: I mean, this is a long-term deal we’re talking about, and as a player you want to make sure the team and organization you select has their priorities straight. Just like they do us. Plus, there has to be that comfort level. Don’t go anywhere and sign a six or seven-year deal some place where you aren’t going to be happy. That’s what it’s all about, happiness. If you’re happy, everything speaks for itself. It allows you to just go out and play. You don’t have to worry about the critics because you’re happy with the situation, happy with the organization, happy with where you’re living. To answer your question, it was stressful, but it was a nice stressful. This whole process let me know that there are other teams out there that were willing to take a chance on me for my game. They didn’t know what type of person I was, so they were basing everything on how I performed on the court. And that’s a great feeling, being 21 years old and having these high-class organizations comin’ at you.

SLAM: Not trying to bust your bubble about Orlando, but I’ve talked to both Shaq and Penny, and both of them said that the media here is the worst in the country as far as supporting the team and its players.

T-Mac: All press can’t be good press. And if we are producing on the court the way that we should, what bad would they have to say? I mean, we’re going to have our haters, but that’s just how this business runs. I can’t worry about that, you know.

SLAM: I heard reporters went extra deep trying to find out what you were going to do; heard they even got your cellie number.

T-Mac: Man, I had to give my brother my phone. It’s amazing how they can track you down.

SLAM: Tell me what the difference is between Tracy McGrady as a free agent [two days ago] and T-Mac officially being on the Orlando Magic [today]?

T-Mac: That’s another great question. I just feel a lot better now, more relaxed. Signing the deal means there’s a lot of [pressures] that have been released. Starting today, I can get back into my workouts. I ain’t got to worry about all of these different reporters calling me, I ain’t got to worry about Alonzo callin’ me asking me to come down there, I don’t have to worry about what anybody else is saying about me. I can just concentrate on ballin’. Today I can just concentrate on working out and getting ready for the season.

SLAM: You didn’t get any gray hairs going through this experience, did you?

T-Mac: Damn near.

SLAM: Would Tim Duncan being here have made a difference?

T-Mac: I never thought Tim was coming. I knew that he was going to stay in San Antonio. I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

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  • andrew

    Quiet as kept, hateful as you can be.

  • MeloMan15

    T-mac is full of ish, I’m sorry. He left because he was worried the team wouldn;t stay together? Please. Nowadays he claims he left because he wanted his own team. Vince DID resign with the team after that and they still had pieces around them that would have made the duo unstoppable

  • MeloMan15

    I’m sorry, it’s just that every time i try and sympathize with this guy I just keep getting reminded of how much of a douche he is

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    T-mac!!!

  • ablaze

    First issue of Slam I ever bought. I remember seeing him in that blue Magic jersey with the orange background on the cover. Was too young to appreciate who Scoop Jackson was and how great a journalist he was/is. Great article.

  • http://www.espn.com paulh

    T-mac remains my favourite player of the post Jordan era. Folk just don’t seem to remember how great he was. If only his body had held up.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Such a shame that his body just kept breaking down. Still my favourite player.

  • Drew

    It’s a shame T-Mac was never able to really compete for a championship. Hate to say it, but I really see Melo’s career panning out in a similar manner.

  • MeloMan15

    melo’s career won’t be similar because he’s already been out of the first round, and doesn’t have a 60 yr old back

  • http://www.espn.com PaulH

    There was about a three year period (2001-4) were T-mac was on a level only a handful of players In the history of the game have ever been. He was just awesome. As great a player as Melo has been he’s never been that good.

  • Layzie

    T-Mac and A.I. were my two favorite players back in high school. Its sad to see one of them out of the league and one is playing low minutes as a bench player.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Man, we’ll take McGrady in Boston, he’s got enough smarts and skill to fit in with Pierce, Rondo, Bradley and whoever else we keep/bring in, plus you know he’s familiar with Rivers. He’s been more or less healthy for a couple of years now, and he’s only 33, people are quitting on him too soon, but it goes to show the value of loyalty to a franchise, if he had stuck around with the Raptors, there’s no way he’d be cast out the way he was from Houston when he got injured.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Chubachuchi

    Man he was a premier defender before he kind of got lazy people tend to forget he had that capability, even analysts nowadays seem to forget he was a great defender in his younger days.

  • edwin

    TMAC still number 1………nobody compared him, the silky smooth move & jumpshot only tmac can do that.

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