Spurs’ Tracy McGrady holds court at Finals Friday media session
MIAMI — Spurs reserve forward Tracy McGrady went from a DNP-CD in a Game 1 on Thursday to the clear MVP of Friday’s practice media availability.
Holding court in front of a small group of reporters on the sideline of the American Airlines Arena court, McGrady, who signed with the Spurs in April after playing in China this season, offered some frank talk and one-liners on a host of topics. Here McGrady is, in his own words. Enjoy it while you can, as he said recently he would consider retiring after the Finals.
On why there’s no comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan: “[In the 1990s,] there were grown men out there. There’s a lot of boys in our league right now.”
On Dwyane Wade’s knee injury: “It looks like he’s lacking confidence in some of the things he’s accustomed to doing. He’s tentative. I understand. You don’t know. ‘I’ve made this move before, but if I do it, is it going to hurt me.’ I’ve been through that. It’s in the back of your mind. I don’t care how great of a player you are when you’ve dealt with that for so long and it’s still there, the confidence and mental capacity affects your game.”
On the 2009 microfracture knee surgery that changed the course of his career: “I got hurt in my 11th year. My knee gave out on me in my 11th year, Dwyane [Wade] is in his 10th year. A lot of these guys are dealing with knee injuries over their 10-year career. [Carmelo Anthony] is dealing with knee injuries. It happens. When you play so many games, for me, I had to carry a franchise for a lot of years. I had to do a lot more than some of these guys have to do. It caught up with me.”
On what it’s like playing for the Spurs after years of postseason frustration: “I was always a guy that said, for a player to be on a championship team that didn’t contribute, how can he feel that he deserved that ring? Look here, man, I’m in that situation. My career has been something, especially after my injury. It’s been tough. I can’t do nothing but appreciate this opportunity. It seems like it happened for a reason for me to be here.”
On his role in the 2013 Finals: “Sh–, I don’t think I am going to play. I watch just like you. I just have a better seat.”
On ill feelings toward unnamed franchises over his last few NBA seasons: “I didn’t enjoy it because a lot was taken away from me. I felt like the ability I could display, I wasn’t allowed to do that. I felt I was lied to. I don’t want to say no names. I was lied to. Things wasn’t happening the way it was told to me. I don’t have any respect for that. I know a lot of things have been said about me as an individual and as a player. But I just speak my mind. When something is told to me and it didn’t happen that way, I’m going to speak my mind. That’s just who I am. I’ve never going to shy away from that.”
On what makes Spurs point guard Tony Parker great: “His endurance. To see him handle the ball 95 percent of the time out there, bring the ball up, pass it to the strong side, run on the baseline full speed, on the weakside get the ball, get in a pick-and-roll, come back out, get into another one. He does that sh– all game long. I don’t know how he sustains it. He’s the best. He’s working on his fourth championship. He’s been the best player over the last decade in the playoffs.”
On a possible alternative career: “I was great in baseball. I could have played in the pros in professional baseball. I had either choice. I just chose basketball. A lot of y’all don’t know that.”
On whether he is ready if Spurs coach Gregg Popovich does call his number: “Is pig p—y pork? Of course, man. I would relish the opportunity if it was called.”