Detroit Pistons Mutiny (with Tracy McGrady video)
If you're keeping score at home, Tracy McGrady has left scorched earth behind every NBA franchise for whom he has played.
He left Toronto for Orlando just as his career was finally beginning to blossom, eventually wore out his welcome (amidst copious amounts of playoff failure) in Orlando and forced a trade to Houston, and finally here in Houston eventually succumbed to microfracture surgery (a decision to undergo such surgery that he was kind enough to inform the media about prior to letting his employer know).
Eventually, he and his expiring contract were sent to New York where he was being referred to as "Knee Mac" by his second game in a Knicks uniform.
Perhaps it's because he's only under a one-year, veteran's-minimum contract and he's trying to make up for lost time, but Tracy put the "burnt bridge" plan into overdrive this past weekend, taking part in an alleged Pistons player mutiny against head coach John Kuester.
If you missed the story, several Pistons players missed shootaround on Friday in Philadelphia, and while ostensibly all had excuses ranging from legit (Ben Wallace's brother passed away the following day) to questionable (a few players claim to have either overslept or just missed the bus), the belief is that these players (a group that includes our beloved T-Mac) missed the shootaround because (a) they hate Kuester and (b) they really hate the way Kuester has handled the benching of veteran guard Richard Hamilton.
Excuses or no excuses, we do know that the six players who attended the full shootaround on Friday are the only ones who played that night for the Pistons, so I'm going to go with the "where there's smoke, there's fire" approach and assume there is something to seven -- SEVEN -- players missing a scheduled shootaround.
I will also submit the following video evidence of Tracy McGrady chuckling on the Pistons' bench as Kuester was ejected from Friday night's game...
The actual funny thing (and yes, considering how piss poor he was as an NBA player at the end of his Rockets' tenure, it is like "ha ha" funny) is that Tracy McGrady had made himself a productive NBA player once again, playing a sort of point forward position and providing some veteran leadership. He wasn't "the old Tracy McGrady" from, say, 2004, but he wasn't "just, plain OLD Tracy McGrady" from 2009, either.
And now he's part of this.
In a city that's been beat up harder than any other big city by the economy, Tracy McGrady and his band of fools have decided to take personality conflicts with a coach who is as lame a duck as there is and turn them into a very public, collective execution of said duck. As if Joe Ford Factoryworker didn't have a hard enough time relating to the Pistons players and their seven-figure W-2's, I'm guessing open truancy from half the roster won't be bridging that gap anytime soon.
Good to see Tracy McGrady back in midseason form. At least he's not alone. This time he's brought his friends along with him.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.