The words of Tracy McGrady

Well, T-Mac got his workout with the Bulls. And he shared a few of his thoughts afterward.


“This was a great team, a pretty good team, without adding myself and Carlos Boozer, and some of the key players that they added this offseason. You bring a coach in like [Tom] Thibodeau, who’s very defensive minded, very smart and knows the game, knows what to get out of his players.

“I think we can be really good, I really do.”

Notice how McGrady is already referring to the Bulls as “we”? Either T-Mac knows something we don’t, or he’s a little confused about how to use pronouns.

From the Chicago Tribune:

“I feel good. I’ve been battling to get back to rare form. Still coming off surgery. It’s been a tough road, but I feel pretty good compared to my last game that I played in New York. I was still going through the rehab process then. I’m definitely a long ways away from what I used to look like. But I’m very confident what I’m going to be in this coming season.”

Yeah. That “definitely a long ways away from what I used to look like” part is what makes Bulls fans a little nervous. Anyway…

“I’d fit in well. I bring what I know about the game and my athleticism and versatility. Knowing my smarts for the game, leadership, anything I can add to get these guys over the edge. Without me, without (Carlos) Boozer, they’re a .500 club. With the guys we added, we’ll be 30 better.”

Wait…30 games better than 41-41? Is McGrady predicting a 71-win season or are his simple math skills as confused as his pronoun usage? I’ll let you be the judge.

Now here’s the ominous quote:

“If I was the player I was in a Knicks uniform, I would have no problem coming off the bench. But I have worked extremely hard and I’m far from that player. It’s up to me in training camp to prove I’m a starter.”

Am I the only one who thought “uh oh” on reading that…? I’m pretty sure one of the stated prerequisites was that T-Mac would have to be willing to accept a supporting role. That’s not an “accepting of a supporting role” kind of statement.

As always, buyer beware.


41 Responses to The words of Tracy McGrady

    BV July 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    It needs to be made clear to T-Mac that he will be a bench player and play 15ish minutes every night (barring injury to our starters). If he’s not willing to accept this, he should not be signed.

    thirdsaint July 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Let us hope that the Bulls FO does just that BV. Anything else is a risk not worth taking.

    reggie July 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    Why is it a bad idea to at least say to TMac you can compete for the starting Job if you win it its yours only players that have solid starting position is deng , Rose, Boozer and Noah so if he wins it then he wins it no need to at least have open comp in the pre season for the up coming one o the games on sign him and let them begin in Chi I am gonna love wathcing then go for it in pre season the drama might be higher than most expect so Game On . Peace

    Jack Dunkulous July 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    Just don’t sign him.

    If we do it needs to be a non-guaranteed contract. The first few months I would keep him inactive until he proves he is healthy and proves he is accepting the role player role. If he shows signs of pouting or complaining you let him go.

    Tony July 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Just don’t sign him.

    If we do it needs to be a non-guaranteed contract. The first few months I would keep him inactive until he proves he is healthy and proves he is accepting the role player role. If he shows signs of pouting or complaining you let him go.

    Way to copy sam smith smarta$$.

  6. PTFC July 26, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    Yea Bulls management needs to squash this. They have to make it clear he will start off as a bench player and most likely remain so. But then of course McGrady can always work his ass off and start to be real good again (big maybe) if so then somewhere in the season coach Tibs can decide if he should start him or not. But until then PLEASE make it clear he will come off the bench. Make a power presentation with slides that just says “BENCH” “BENCH” “BENCH” if you have to.

  7. zobel43 July 26, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    I agree with Jack. I’m very wary of T-Mac coming to the bulls. I’m sure he could help us, but it is essential that he accepts a supporting role. He isn’t the player he used to be and I think he and everybody else knows that. sign him short term.

    Dave Thomas July 26, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Actually, he’s got the right attitude. Remember, the Bulls are only a Luol Deng hangnail away from needing T-Mac anyway.

    Enigmatik July 26, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    the offseason has been going nicely and now this crap pops up. it would fly against everything i believe in if she-mac joins my beloved bulls. nevermind his ridiculous statements, the guy is just not a winner. he would have a corrosive effect in the locker room. he’s a quitter, doesn’t play hard at all times and just wouldn’t be a good fit with this team. the clippers had nothing to say about him and that should say it all.

    but back to his ridiculous statements…i saw the one article where the quote was “30 better” than the .500 record, then i saw another article that had “30 points better”…either way, mcgrady thinks that just by adding him to the team, the bulls will win between 65 and 71 games.

    Yeah. Right.

    Ben July 26, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    I dont understand the concern over his desire to start. What is the other option for the bulls, Ronnie Brewer? I’d say a 50% T-Mac is still superior to Brewer and he lacks Brewer’s pronounced shooting woes. In addition, he can space the floor on offense and if he is even a shadow of his former self he may be able to command double teams which can ease the pressure off of Rose.

    kelly July 26, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    @jack i agree about the non-guaranteed contract…make him inactive until he proves himself…also allows the rest of the team to continue molding themselves with minimal distractions in the event that he is let go…

    @reggie prior to the micro-fracture surgery, i would agree with competing for the starting role…tracy is a gamble and as such keeping him healthy is a priority which is also why he should be limited to 15-20 mins of playing time only…he would be brought in as a role player only

    if tracy could accept that role and be more concerned with staying healthy for an entire season he has a real shot at sixth man of the year honors…

    coming out of a workout for a minimum contract stating that you think you’re good enough to start is doing more damage than good…and referring to the bulls as ‘we’ is very assuming…

    i don’t like any of this…if i were the front office and i heard him say that i would make certain he understands and accepts his role before handing him a contract and then be ready to drop him like a hot potato at the first sign of ‘me-mac’…

    BullySixChicago July 26, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    I think McGrady is right if he can win the starting job in training camp so be it. But if he cant he has to realize that any disruption from him and the Bulls will say later without any after thought. From my understanding it takes a year and half to 2 years to come back from that injury. So just hope that he is injury free from it and others that might occur. If so the Bulls have a steal.

    Wes R July 26, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    I wish I was drinking some type of beverage when I read this earlier this morning so that I could do a spit take. I can believe Me-Mac’s calculations only in the following way:

    Boozer, Korver, Brewer, Watson = 40 wins
    Me-Mac = -10 wins
    “Added” wins = 30 wins

    I think there is a nuance between someone unestablished trying to prove they belong, versus someone formerly established trying to prove that they have something left. The former may be a little bit more tolerant when the minutes dry up at times, always hungry and waiting for their next chance, where the latter may start to feel entitled, and get bitter wondering why they aren’t afforded the “benefit of the doubt” and perhaps thinking “who do they think they are? I’m Me-Mac…er T-Mac”!

    I think the better thing to do is leave him off the roster entirely now. Revisit in a couple of months.

    Manny July 26, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Why would McGrady say that he will NOT work hard to be a starter?. All Players MUST have starter mentality. If he did NOT show the hunger of being a STARTER then I would not sign him. Bench Players MUST have starter mentality to make sure the player they are subbing for is NOT missed on the floor. Give him a chance, he is ONLY 31 yrs old. Kobe Just had KNEE surgery done last week, does this mean he should have BENCH player mentality?.

    Joe S. July 26, 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    T-Mac = T.O.

    Savage July 26, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    Yea this is going to be a tough call, looks like he might start crying if he does not get the starting job and that is not what we need. It is a catch 22 because I do think he could really add something off the bench but to come off surgeries as he did and be rehabbing as he is and say he thinks he should start is very questionable. To say they were a good team and adding him and Boozer they are great is a stretch. Adding Boozer is a huge help but for T-Mac to claim he would have a drastic impact on our win total is also questionable seeing how he played in NY last year and that he is still trying to rehab his knee. Very tough call.

    BadDave July 27, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    Bwahahahaha. I won’t even have to wait until February to be proven right. Awesome.

  18. jayrich July 27, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    i think he means the bulls will be 30 gsmes over .500 not 30 games plus what we one last yr. so we would have a record like 56-26 u know 30 games over .500.

    I see writer just assume things and run with it to make players look more ignorant than they really are.

    just sign t-mac already if he wants to prove he can be a starter and suceeds how can u been mad at that.

    if he plays well he will get his minutes regardless if he starts or not coach will handle everything else these r grown men nobody is gonna babysit his minutes by now mcgrady is as health as he is gonna get make or break time all this other rap is for the birds.

    LOBOS July 27, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Everybody is overreacting!

    Take a look around the league, T-MAC can still compete with your average 6th man, not to mention 7-12.

    I have no problem with T-MAC being competitive about starting. All Bulls fans should be supporting the thought of T-MAC being healthy and competing, for it only better are chances as a team to win it all.

    As of now, T-MAC understand that he has prove that he’s healthy enough to compete on a high level, and I’m very optimistic that he will be the X-factor for the Bulls this year.

    A healthy T-MAC=Championship!!!

    hardtimes July 27, 2010 at 1:29 am #

    I am glad to see that Tracy wants to get back and prove he belongs in the starting line up. That just means he is going to work hard to prove himself. If he would just come in and say I would take a back up role that would prove he lost his competitive edge. Id rather have a hungry McGrady than a passive one. If he cant show signs of being close to his old form than they shouldnt sign him.

  21. PJ July 27, 2010 at 2:53 am #

    Maybe T-Mac will finally make it out of the first round of the playoffs this year

    keith moore July 27, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    sign him he’s allstar player, let t-mac and deng battle for starting spot. ? what has deng done.

    BadDave July 27, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    I’d rather have a happy meal toy than T-Mac. Free Taco Disappointment will not produce, but detract from the team. And for those folks that think a healthy T-Mac is the key to a championship, I have to ask these questions:

    What is the honest likelihood of Tracy staying healthy? (His average is 51 games/year. 48/year in the last 5 years)

    He has a proven track record of choking on the grape cool-aid in the clutch. Do you think that’s going to help a championship?

    How can a guy that NEEDS 20 touches to make any significant difference to the game NOT screw up the Bulls gameplan?

    How will a guy that always sees himself as the center of the world fit with a bunch of young, humble-ish, team-oriented players?

    How will he keep Thomas from eating him at the buffet line?

    In his 13 years in the league, Free Taco Disappointment has:
    1 – never made it out of the 1st round of the playoffs
    2 – has steadily declined in fg percentage
    3 – averages 3 turnovers per game in the playoffs
    4 – has sucked $160 million from teams with nothing to show

    Look – he’s not worthless. But he’d fit better on a team that runs a lot of isolation at a plodding, deliberate pace. He’d fit better at a team that has a coach that won’t demand his being a team player, or with teammates that will put him with his prima-donna ways (read: NOT Noah). He was most successful in Orlando when he could get the ball until he did something with it.

    I stay with my prediction of his future suckitude on the Bulls, and will repeat it as long as he’s on the team.

    Detroit Murder Dog July 27, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    No way do the Bulls sign this guy. This was Jerry doing a make-good to the homie Arn Tellem. TMac is used goods and will complain about minutes the day he shows up in camp.

  25. TexasBearsFan July 27, 2010 at 4:22 am #

    No way on earth should we sign him now. Looking slow and already anointing himself a starter? Please. This team is going places and TMac forms no part of that at all.

    Just retire TMac, just retire.

  26. chad July 27, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    if it’s between mcgrady and pargo, sign mcgrady. if it’s mcgrady or acie law, i’m not sure. what i want to know is will mcgrady play defense? i dont think his attitude is bad. he should want to start. we need a guy who can score, deng will be hurt most the time anyway. if he wants to start, he will play harder in order to become a starter. wanting to be a starter should not be a red flag. i don’t his attitude will be as bad as larry hughes was. the question is who are we not getting in order to get mcgrady, there’s not many good players to choose from.

    dJ July 27, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    “Just don’t sign him.

    If we do it needs to be a non-guaranteed contract. The first few months I would keep him inactive until he proves he is healthy and proves he is accepting the role player role. If he shows signs of pouting or complaining you let him go.” (I agree with sam smith comment as well lol)

    Then again, if he is willing to accept his non-guaranteed contract for a couple of months and he is willing to accept his role as player like the Memphis Grizzlies did with A.I contract last season. This move can hurt us! It’s a nice cheap risk for a 1 year deal if the Bulls sign him. Plus hopefully T-Mac will prove us all wrong and become the old good healthy player he once was lol.

    greg July 27, 2010 at 5:44 am #

    he said adding himself and boozer would make the bulls “30 points better.” i read that to mean 30 ppg better as a team.

    also, sign him to a cheap deal with a buyout clause, and if it doesn’t work, buy him out. at best, he can start and contribute. at worst, we spend $1M and bring up whichever guard heats it up at the beginning of the D league season.

    think of it this way… if you are out at a bar, do you hit on the hottest girl there knowing if it goes south you can throw down a couple bucks for her drink and leave, or go for the ugly one staring you down then look at her in the morning and hate yourself for not taking the chance?

    JZ July 27, 2010 at 6:27 am #

    I like that analogy Greg and you hit it on the dot. Why do the Bulls management act like this. Your all taking what TMAC said out of context. He said we were a good team last yr and .500 (which WE WERE) and that adding the pieces this summer with him included would make us a much better team (30 PTS, 30 PPG thats just a math-mess there) which is true. And hey if TMAC is awesome in training camp/preseason then he SHOULD start. ISn;t that Tom Thibathue’s (sp?) call anyways (and he is a fiar coach that also knows about TMAC) and not GarPax’s call (since Bulls management have been dictatos since late 90s). If Im the Bulls I would talk to this guy saying: “Look here is the deal we see your healthy and can really make this team even better, so we want to sign you to this short-term contract (that non-guarantee stuff yall talked about earlier). If you earn a starting spot with your play on the court and it benefits the team then you will start. If your play leaves you better suited for being a aprk off the bench then thats what will happen. You must be willing to accept whatever role on this team. If you can not and you complain and are a distraction about it then we will cut you.”

    I hope the Bulls do that because then you MUST sign him because two things happen: A—He complies and he has a great season near his old form and it would enhance the Bulls Title chances a lot. B—He becomes a cancer to the team well one sign of it then BAM he’s off the team, simple as that. Tell me where is the downside here people???

  30. Cool wind July 27, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    Who the hell does this t-mac think he is ? Want to be a starter after all that crap 2 last seasons ? Go dream else where. You should be thanking the bulls FO for giving you a chance for workout to see what you got. What an arrogance fool.

    Wes R July 27, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    If Me-Mac is such a deal, and such a bargain because he’s “willing to prove he’s a starter” why does it look like we are the one of two teams (the Clippers being the other) to actually put him through a workout? Note that however you break out that his “30 points better” comment to mean 30 ppg or 30 wins over .500, you’ll curiously note that he is focusing on the offensive end of the court since he hasn’t really played defense in YEARS.

    He is no longer the player that put up 32.1 pts in 75 games way back in 2002. Historically he’s been someone that scores a lot of points, by putting up a lot of shots since he hasn’t shot better than 43% since 2002. Even coming off the bench that’s not going to be a good look for the second unit.

    Final question: Who has played more 82 games seasons? Deng in his 6 seasons in the league, or Me-Mac in his 14 seasons?

    That’s right. Deng played all 82 back in 2006. Still waiting on Me-Mac to break the 66 game mark set back in 2007.

    Kola July 27, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    By 30 puints he probably meant per game. As in if they averaged 85 points per game last year it could inverse by 115 points per game. That is the only way I can explain what he is trying to say.

  33. shel July 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    I am having a hard time understanding why everyone would not want him on the bulls. Last I checked Korver and Brewer averaged like 16 points a game combined last year. Brewer plays good d but when he is on the court the man guarding him would be the guy doubling other players cause he can’t shoot long range at all. As far as his shooting percentage he took alot of contested shots and had to shoot the ball alot because of the teams he was on. Does anyone even remeber who he played with in orlando or houston besides yao. In order for those teams to win he had to shoot 20 to 25 shots a game. To me he is worth the risk. Brewer and Korver are bench players. Let him compete and even if he is 65 percent of the player he was that is a better option than brewer or korver.

    BULL4EVER July 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Man we need to get off tracy mcgrady by not even signing this fool because he will just do nothing but total harm than good because he won’t be helping Chicago at all like how Boozer,Korver,and C.J. Watson will be totally helping this Bulls team to an elusive 7th title that Chicago has been trying to win since the post-JORDAN/PIPPEN era. GO BULLS.

    BoppinBob July 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    I hope that whatever the decision is about McGrady that Pax and Gar include Thibs in the decision making process. He has worked with McGrady before and would have a feel for how to view the comments McGrady made. I believe that every player should want to be a starter. The most important question here is how McGrady will react if he is not the starter. At this point I see Brewer as the starter. His Career shooting % is .521 although he only shoots .234 from 3pt range. McGrady’s career shooting % is .435 but he did shoot .337 from 3pt range. Chemistry is very important in this decision and Thibs should have some insite into the potential chemistry issues.

  36. Zach July 27, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    I think you guys are jumping on the “30-better” quote pretty ridiculously.

    He was commenting on the Bulls being a perennial .500 team (like, read the quotes, they’re right there). In that context, “30-better” means “30 games over .500”. As in, 56-26. Which, really, would not be beyond the realm of possibility… with or without McGrady.

    Peter July 28, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    So what everyone is saying is the Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, and Luol Deng are that much better than Tracy McGrady that he shouldn’t even think about starting? That’s ridiculous! You still only have two players in Rose and Boozer that can get their own shot! The rest are specialists, and don’t tell me that Deng has lived up to his expectations!!

    Matt Steigenga July 30, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    I don;t think McGrady is ruled out man. WIth House gone and the other two guys like Mason and Bogans being not so attractive peices to after, TMAC may still be signed. I wish it would work because although he would not be the great TMAC he will still be able to add something valuable to the team. A good 6th man or maybe even starting for Deng when he does his annual injury.

    By the way does anyone know if the Berto Center is open for people taking tours of it? I ask because my friend and I are heading their this weekend.

    andres Lopez August 2, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    @ Matt Steigenga,

    Don’t forget T-Mac also gets hurt a lot during the regular season as well lol! Hello!!! he did miss a lot of games! 3 seasons ago does that not give us a sign??? lol

    gabe August 2, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    I have know problem with what t-mac said. If he has been working out like he say he has and see improvement, he may be very well back to his old self, or as least close. I say the staff should go in with an open mind and let him prove himself during training camp. If he has regained his game put him in the starting line-up, if not bring him off the bench, either way the bulls will be a better team with whatever roles he has.


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