But even with that in mind, I’m not exactly sure how he fits in with the Pistons, and I’m even less sure after Media Day.
First, here’s what McGrady said when discussing his new teammates:
“This is my first time I’ve seen them, so we really haven’t talked too much.”
It’s understandable that McGrady has had things to take care of like finding a place to live, rehabbing his injury, etc. But I guess I just assumed that McGrady would’ve been in contact with some of the players, particularly veteran leaders like Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, before signing. I guess that wasn’t necessarily the case.
As for the other wing players who spoke, none said anything controversial about adding McGrady to the team, but the tone seemed a lot more tempered than would be expected after bringing in a guy with T-Mac’s resumé.
From Ben Gordon, who had the most to say specific to McGrady:
If Tracy can just come back and play like he’s played in the past, he’ll help tremendously. People tend to forget (because of his injuries the last few seasons), that when he’s healthy, he was one of probably the top five players at one point. I hope we get a healthy Tracy back and if we do, the rest will speak for itself.
From Rodney Stuckey:
I’m excited (to play with McGrady), but I’m excited to play with everyone. I’m excited that everyone’s back on this team. Injuries were a big deal for us last year. Hopefully we just start off the season well, injury-free.
We’ve got a lot of pieces to the puzzle. The more scorers we’ll have, the better we’ll be.
I don’t think any of the players view the McGrady signing as a bad thing, but I think he could also be looked at as a threat. If he’s healthy, he’s one of the biggest stars in the NBA, even if he’s no longer one of the game’s top players. It would be really hard to keep him out of the lineup.
For his part, McGrady repeatedly referred to himself as an unselfish player who will have no problem working with the team’s other top offensive options.
I do think McGrady has been a good and willing passer in his career, he’s just often played on teams with little or no offensive talent, so he’s had to shoot more to give his team the best chance to win. His adjustment to playing on a team in Detroit that, if healthy, could have an array of weapons on offense will be one of the more interesting things to watch this season.
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