Those who know me know that I have an unhealthy fascination with Britney Spears, unhealthy to the point where I found myself strangely attracted to her even through her hefty "Xanax and Frappucino for breakfast" phase back in 2007. One of my favorite Britney stories ever was her "marriage" to boyhood friend Jason Alexander back in 2004.
Basically, they were drunk one night in Vegas, decided they had enough in common to get hitched, but ultimately wound up getting the thing annulled after just 55 hours of marriage (much to the relief of Britno-philes everywhere). At the time, Spears admitted "I was in Vegas, and it took over me, and, you know, things got out of hand..." (Uh yeah, I guess so. May I recommend Cirque du Soleil next time instead of holy matrimony, Brit Brit?)
I bring up this story because miraculously the honeymoon for Tracy McGrady and the media/fans of New York managed to outlast the sacred union of Spears and Alexander. In fact, counting back to last Thursday afternoon, it made it over four days!
Sadly, the New York media, who couldn't get out of their own way fawning over McGrady after a 26-point debut Saturday night, probably now feel a little like Britney post-marriage after watching McGrady yank himself from the waning moments of a blowout loss to the Bucks on Monday, limping to the bench on his (clearly still debilitated) left knee...
A sample of some of the media quotes after McGrady's debut in Madison Square Garden on Saturday:
"The newest Knick is still a star and he's already enjoying a love affair with the Garden and is undeniably the best player on the team... But at least the fans have McGrady for 28 games and possibly beyond." -- Frank Isola, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
"Granted a fervent wish to do this reputation rehab in New York, he said Friday that money and ego will not cause him to pass at a highly-theoretical opportunity to live happily ever after here with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. More likely is Plan B, McGrady becoming the fallback star to attract a Carmelo Anthony or Chris Paul from the next two free-agent classes" -- Jay Greenberg, NEW YORK POST
"Health issues aside, McGrady is the most dynamic player to wear a Knicks jersey in at least 10 years -- and certainly the most electrifying since Latrell Sprewell was shipped out in 2003....A legitimate star is wearing a Knicks jersey, even if it lasts only 28 more games." -- Howard Beck, NEW YORK TIMES
Four days later, after a hideous 83-67 loss to the Bucks (on Legends Night in MSG, no less!), the headline in the New York Post reads "KNEE MAC" with a picture of a despondent McGrady toweling off on the bench.
In other words, the media is taking a page out of Britney's book and essentially admitting "I was in the Garden Saturday night, and it took over me, and, you know, things got out of hand..."
Marriage over. Honeymoon over. Our nightmare in Houston has officially been passed onto you, New York. Have fun with all that.
I think we can all agree that Daryl Morey is a highly intelligent person, sometimes so intelligent I wonder what the hell he's doing constructing an NBA basketball team instead of finding some sort of sabermetric formula to end war or famine. But that's beside the point. Were the New York media and T-Mac lovers really under the impression that Morey shipped out a dynamic, "26 points a game" wingman (with a $23 million expiring contract) who is still one of the best players in the league? Or more likely, are we now getting confirmation that T-Mac is indeed a washed-up diva who should probably start thinking about what the next 40 years of his life will entail?
To be fair, two games may be too small a sample space to definitively say who's right or who's wrong...I just know that if I'm down to my last few chips, I'll put them on the space that says "Morey" over the one that says "Tracy" every day and twice on Sundays.
My post yesterday was about basketball homeostasis -- how ultimately over the course of 82 games, the inalienable truths of a basketball season will play out. It's too big a sample space for it not to. The great will ascend, the mediocre will hover in purgatory, the fool's gold will get exposed, and the flawed will crash land, oftentimes hard.
Last night after the game, a frustrated D'Antoni said "[Tracy] asked out...he was kind of limping and stuff..."
Yep, homeostasis may have only taken two games to expose McGrady...and stuff.
It's okay, New York. It'll all be over in less than two months. Don't feel bad, we had to put up with this bullshit for about five years.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the Sean & John Show, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.