He didn't ask for a trade Wednesday night after his sixth consecutive 7-8 minute stint, but he sounded awfully frustrated with his situation in Houston.
"How'd you like my cameo?'' he asked sarcastically after the 102-87 loss to the Magic. "It's time for me to play. Whoever gets me now is going to get a hungry-ass player, a hungry-ass player. I don't care if I have to go to the damn moon to get it. It doesn't matter.''
McGrady is coming back from microfracture surgery on his left knee last February, playing his first of six games Dec. 15. Even before Wednesday's tip-off, he said it was "time to start bumping up the minutes.''
It didn't happen.
"It's frustrating, knowing I'm ready to contribute more,'' he said. "But this is what they want. I'll play my seven minutes, lace them up, do what I can for seven minutes, then sit down and become a cheerleader.''
McGrady, who becomes a free agent this summer, is the league's highest-paid player at $23.2 million. He told Chris Tomasson of FanHouse earlier this month that he wants to remain in Houston, although that possibility is looking more and more unlikely.
"I'm not sure what to think now. If that's the case (he's not in Houston's plans), why play me seven minutes? If they want to showcase me (for a trade), give me 15-20 minutes,'' he said. "This is a contract season for me. I have to think about that as well.''
Houston coach Rick Adelman scowled after the game when asked about McGrady and his playing time possibly increasing.
"Let's talk about the game. We've talked about it (McGrady's minutes) for six games,'' Adelman said. "I want to see how he plays. That's what we're looking for.''
McGrady, 30, said he is pain free, and he looked aggressive with the ball. Although he admittedly doesn't have the spring in his legs like he once did, he move reasonably well.
"I was cool with this plan when they agreed to bring me back,'' he said. "But I know my body. And I feel fine. It's time to start increasing my minutes.''
Before the game, McGrady talked about free agency, about the long-shot possibility of returning to Orlando, where he played for four seasons and won an NBA scoring title. He grew up in nearby Auburndale, Fla., and still has family close by.
"Would I consider coming back home? Of course I would. It's home. I'd never rule that out,'' he said. "But the first option still is Houston.''
The thought of playing alongside cousin Vince Carter made him smile Wednesday. He even joked about where he would live if he signed again with the Magic.
"Vince loves playing here, living in his big old house. I told him -- hypothetically-speaking -- if I was to come back, I could rent out his guest house.''
McGrady spent much of the pregame warm-up time talking with Carter at center court. They shared a laugh on the court when they were guarding each other late in the first quarter.
He didn't even warmup with the rest of the team when they emerged from the locker room at halftime, taking a seat on the bench by himself.
During the team huddle between the third and fourth quarters, McGrady grabbed the game ball and practiced spinning it on his finger like he was doing a Harlem Globetrotter routine.
"Right now, I'm just playing my cameo role,'' he said. "But it's time to change. I'm excited about becoming a free agent. I really am.''