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Old 03-16-2011, 06:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
Acie
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Pistons T-Mac: I wasn't a great practice player

Quote:
“I just wasn’t a great practice player,’’ McGrady, a Detroit guard, said in an interview with HoopsHype. “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.

“Tracy McGrady was 1,000 hours of practice,’’ Van Gundy, now an NBA analyst for ABC and ESPN, said sarcastically at the conference. “He should be a Hall of Fame player. His talent was other-worldly. He was given a great leg up in the race against other players. He’s as close as I’ve ever seen to someone with a perfect body and a good mind… I just wish I could have changed his practice habits and his mentality.’’
Quote:
“I got by and I still was head and shoulders above what I played with, and I think that’s what they were saying,’’ McGrady said when asked about comments by the two. “Like, if I would have went the extra mile of practicing hard, who knows what I could have been? But that part I don’t really buy into. But I think the way I work out individually, to get ready, to prepare myself for the season (has been acceptable).

“I really don’t see how, maybe I’m wrong on this. I don’t just see how going hard in practice is going to take my talent to another level. I just don’t see that… As far as the team jelling and practicing like that, yeah that’s how you make your team better. I’m saying me personally, I just didn’t see how me practicing hard was going to take my talent to another level. I always felt like working on my individual skills was taking my talent to another level… Now when I say I wasn’t a great practice player, it’s not like I sat out of practice. I was participating. I always participated.’’
LINK - Hoopshype.com
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