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Tracy McGrady Back Next Week? That's News to the Rockets

Nov 10, 2009 – 9:21 AM
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Tom Ziller

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This wouldn't be the first time Tracy McGrady announced his plans to the world before discussing them with his team. (It probably will not be the last, either.) Last season, the Rockets learned McGrady had decided to undergo season-ending microfracture surgery through the media. This time, McGrady is telling reporters -- Yahoo! Sports, specifically -- that he plans on making his season debut on Nov. 18 against Minnesota.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey, though, told the Houston Chronicle that McGrady won't play until he's been checked out in a full practice. The next Rockets full practice is slated for Nov. 23. Which is after Nov. 18.

A Nov. 23 MRI and observation had been the plan since September, the Chronicle reports. Really, this might just be a case of overexcitement by the superstar swingman. I hate to look for malice in something which could be a completely innocent mistake.

But ... again, McGrady has a record of making his own decisions. He never really seems to understand what his team's $22 million commitment to him means in terms of a professional relationship. And he certainly appears to be under the illusion that he is the most important Rocket, that the 4-2 Rockets are barely hanging on, waiting for his return. The truth is that the style Houston has employed -- efficient, smart basketball -- is antithetical to McGrady's 30-year-old game. Not that Mac doesn't play smart. But he doesn't play efficiently, which means that he takes too many low-efficiency shots.

Honestly, Morey may very well want to flex his muscles to the world for as long as possible. He put together the wackiest team in the league in the face of catastrophic injuries to his two stars and the team is winning. It has Executive of the Year written all over it (with apologies to Orlando GM Otis Smith). If McGrady comes back and the Rockets keep winning, T-Mac will get an inordinate amount of credit for winning without Yao Ming. But really, it's Trevor Ariza, Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes (!) and Aaron Brooks who are doing it well.
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