Tracy McGrady Admits He Didn’t Practice Hard

by March 16, 2011
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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.”