Today, they're 24-16, and once again waiting for McGrady, who recently decided to take two weeks off so he could do his "off-season conditioning routine," which was interrupted this summer due to surgeries.
In other words, it's a familiar situation ... but unfortunately, familiarity breeds contempt. As David Aldridge points out in an article for NBA.com, Yao Ming has grown so weary of McGrady's constantly uncertain status that the two no longer even speak to each other.
The Rockets are putting a positive spin on this, but Waiting for Tracy is a play that nobody in Houston wants to see anymore -- up to and including the big man, Yao Ming.You know something is wrong if Yao Ming, who's averaged more than 28 missed games the last three seasons, thinks you're hurt too much.
"They don't speak," an extremely plugged-in person tells me. "And Yao wants him out."
That's not likely this season, as McGrady's $20.3 million is toxic to too many teams' luxury tax plans. Next summer, though, when McGrady will have an expiring, $22.4 million contract, teams may well circle the Rockets looking to make a deal.
A couple of thoughts: first, the Rockets situation looked just as dire last season (well, maybe not just as dire -- it doesn't help that Shane Battier and Ron Artest are hobbled, as well) when they inexplicably ripped off their 22-game win streak, winning a bunch of those games without Yao. So you never know what might happen, both with McGrady sidelined or after he comes back. '
Second, I'm not so sure that trading McGrady this season would be as difficult as Aldridge suggests. His contract expires in time for the summer of
(via The Dream Shake)