The T-Mac Question
Online readers respond to "Game Time: Five Jobs The Rockets Can Give Tracy McGrady," By Sean Pendergast, Hair Balls blog, December 15:
Get clubbed yourself: Maybe you should get clubbed on the head. What makes you think that someone else should be hit on the head when a trash franchise like the Rockets couldn't put a good team around a guy for four years? Do basketball a favor and stop writing about it — you clearly have no understanding of the game.
You are hater: T-Mac with one leg is better then Ariza and Battier. I'm sure he does not care what you say about him. Thousands of people want him back. Your opinion's worth a couple cents.
Disgusting: Captain Kobe, I will jump on your bandwagon. This is the most disgusting article I have ever read about a player. Sean, how can you show T-Mac so much ridicule and disrespect? Over the past five years, T-Mac has brought this organization a lot of cheers and money. Is it his fault someone said he was worth $23 million and he got injured? Not hurt, but injured? You're a writer, so I figure you should know the difference between the two. Do yourself a favor and start posting blogs on the Boy Scouts or something. Get areal life.
Sean is actually dead-on: I recently (for the first time ever) took the time to write Les Alexander a detailed letter imploring him to continue Stacy McLady's exile through the rest of the season. Don't trade him so he can get his stock up jacking shots on a lotto team.
Don't play him so he can ruin the progress of this franchise by stunting the development of younger players who will be around next year.
Just sit him...for a whole year...while he can't do anything about it.
Then, with any luck, he will get the AI treatment next off-season when he realizes no one sees him as a franchise player anymore.
The Rockets are first-class. They find players in the second round every year, and last year, without T-Mac, accomplished something in the playoffs, something T-Mac hasn't done in more than a decade in the league.
Who is the trash here, the guys who beat Portland last year or the guy watching from the sidelines and picking against his own team on national TV?
If you don't agree, you are not a Rockets fan — you are a T-Mac fan.
From your name, I can see you are prone to rooting for preening, narcissistic prima donnas, so I already know the answer.
But hey, at least Kobe tries hard and wins.
Get real: You don't have to be a Rockets fan or a T-Mac fan. You have to be a student of the game and put your personal feelings aside. If you're a student, then you will know he isn't the first player to have been injured. Put it this way: What if the organization made Tracy sit last year instead of letting him play? Why didn't they opt for surgery knowing damn well he would be better by now and playing for a contract? The reason is the organization was just as excited about last year's upcoming season potential as T-Mac was. Get real! No player wants to play on one leg.
Get someone better: Sean hit it right on the head. With $23 million, the Rockets could buy someone much better. As hard as Brooks, Scola, Battier, Hayes and Landry play, they still need a functioning "superstar" to get anywhere.
Not worth a flip: I am here to tell you that anyone who thinks T-Mac is worth a flip any longer is most definitely not a student of the game.
So the professor is here to hand out grades. T-Buck, F-. Word to your mothers.
Real Student of the Game
It's about next year: The reason the Rockets were forced to put up with his crap last year is because they were going for a ring, pure and simple. When they got Artest for nothing, we were all thinking that our Big 3 would be enough to be a legit contender. Without McGrady, had he opted for surgery in November instead of February, the Artest experiment would have been pointless. As it turned out, they were better off without him than they ever were with him, but you can see why the Rockets were pushing him to play.
This year, however, is really all about next year and beyond.
The team knows without Yao and/or another young star to count on, McGrady makes very little difference for this year.
Since he absolutely will not be on the team next year, when the team is a contender again, T-Mac's presence just takes shots away from Brooks, Ariza, Landry, Budinger and other young guys who could use this season to gain experience that will serve the team well in the years to come.
Tracy taking those shots only helps Tracy, as he gets to showcase himself for that one last big contract in the off-season.
I'm not even mentioning the fact that behind the scenes, the other players on his own team feel he quit on them and have no respect for him.
His effect on team chemistry adds a whole new layer to his negative impact on his team.
For a perfect example of his effect on others, look at last night. If T-Mac had gotten the start, Chase would not have had the opportunity to explode for a double-double in his first start.
Those missed opportunities will hurt the team in the long run.
Online readers comment on "What a Difference a Decade Makes: Zagat's Top 5 Restaurants in 1999 and 2009," By Katharine Shilcutt, December 14:
The "foodie" fad: I've got to say I'm surprised. In light of the Food Network and growth of the "foodie" fad that's been tossed around for a while, I'd expect diners, on average, to be a bit more discerning. Guess it only proves it's a pretentious (is elitist too strong?) fad that doesn't speak to the masses.
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Chain mail: Zagat's is a popularity contest; it's not about excellence. Thus the chains. And honestly, Zagat's really hasn't kept up with the times; does anyone actually buy their guide anymore?
A chef's perspective: Having been a chef for a number of years, this list does not surprise me. Houston has its foodies (someone mentioned the word "elitist"), but I personally don't think Houstonians know shit about what good food is. Mark's, Da Marco? Are you kidding me? That food is okay, but Houston will never have a true top-notch restaurant that comes anywhere close to restaurants like Trotter's or The French Laundry. One thing chefs know is that diners are like sheep; promote your restaurant well, hype the food and you can then serve just about any crap you want and people will rave about it. Houston chefs have been doing it for years. The only good restaurants in this city are the true ethnic restaurants.