“You Don’t Think If I Had The Right Pieces Arоund Me I Couldn’t Win A Championship?” | T-Mac Drops Game On Rings Culture

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Basketball Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady recently sat down with Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green on the latter’s eponymous show. The conversation was wide-ranging, covering player empowerment, college recruiting, life as a player in the NBA, and rings culture. T-Mac’s teams never won a title, but he believes had he been in the right place at the right time things would be different.

“You don’t think if I had the right pieces arоund me I couldn’t win a championship? I was оne of the top players in the lеague. A lot of great peоple haven’t wоn onе. You think Charles Barkley or Patrick Ewing ain’t have the talent to win a champiоnship?”

Rings culture is the scourge of intelligent and reasonable NBA discourse. Despite the fact that it is clearly a team achievement certain fans look at a player’s lack of ultimate team success as a character flaw within said player.

Never mind the fact the majority of NBA players will never play in a conference finals, let alone NBA Finals. The reality is winning the ultimate team prize in the NBA is really difficult. Not only do you have to be really good, you need some luck too.

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LeBron James has warped many fans’ beliefs into thinking it’s easy to get to the NBA Finals. The Kevin Durant Warriors were “automatic” title winners in many fans’ revisionist histories. Forgetting, of course, that those Warriors were a quarter of basketball away from not advancing to the NBA Finals in 2018.

T-Mac was indeed one of the best players of his era, and caught some bad injury luck, never quite had the right teams, and had a couple poor playoff performances.

The recipe needed to win the ultimate prize isn’t an exact science. But if one thing is off, that’s likely the end.

Tracy McGrady Puts A Bow On His Hall Of Fame Career

T-Mac played 16 seasons in the league. He was a seven-time All-NBA selection, seven-time All-Star, two-time scoring champ, and most improved player in 2001.

The majority of his success came as a member of the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets, but you saw flashes when he was in his first few years on the Toronto Raptors.

At 6 feet 8, he he was the precursor to today’s elite NBA wing. He could handle, create and shoot from all three levels.

And in one of the great “what ifs” in NBA history. T-Mac was so close to forming a superteam in Orlando in 2000. He and Grant Hill signed with the Magic in 2000 as free agents in sign-and-trade deals, and they were on the verge of signing a 24-year-old Tim Duncan.

Can you imagine Duncan, T-Mac and a healthy Grant Hill? They would’ve had the core of a team that could dominate the league. But it wasn’t meant to be. Duncan re-signed with the San Antonio Spurs and went on to win four more titles, two league MVPs, and became one of the 10 greatest players of all-time.

T-Mac made the playoffs six out of the nine seasons he was in Orlando and Houston but never made it past the first round.

One of the best players of his era, never in the right situation to put it all together.


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