On December 7th, 2009, when Allen Iverson pulled on the Sixers jersey for the first time (again), a rare packed house in Philadelphia gave him oodles of love. Hearing Tracy McGrady signed on with the Pistons today, it was hard not to see the connection between the two moves. No, this future Hall-of-Famer isn’t going back to a former stomping ground where he won a scoring title or two, but this is purely a PR move.

T-Mac doesn’t make a bad Pistons roster much better at all. This team will engage in an epic battle for the 12th or 13th spot in the East and whatever T-Mac has left isn’t worth adding to an already heavy-loaded wing position. Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, DaJuan Summers and Ben Gordon will all lose minutes to a 31-year-old trapped in a 35-year-old’s body. Save the speech that he’ll help the team; T-Mac hastily autographed the only contract placed in front of him.

If I’m McGrady, I want to continue playing basketball, so I can’t blame him for retracting his “I’m in good enough shape to be a starter” comments and moving on to his fifth NBA team. I was actually fine with the way he conducted himself in New York, but you wanna take on a player on his last legs who thinks he’s actually improved after 13 seasons of ball? Pistons management must not have been watching when AI got frustrated with the organization and eventually skipped out of P-A. But they were surely watching those once empty seats being filled in the Wells Fargo Center (yeah, that’s what they’re calling it these days).

Just like December 7th, 2009, we’ll watch Tracy’s Detroit debut. He’ll probably have a decent night, and then we’ll lose interest. But the negative consequences for his teammates will live on, and they’ll likely sell less tickets than they did in Philadelphia.

Just when the Pistons roster gets back to full strength and they can finally take a look at what they assembled last summer, they add a man who’ll cause more pain than pleasure.

Comments (12)

  1. let’s hope you’re right and it’s more like AI’s move to philly. i have the fear that it’s more like AI’s move to detroit, which was waaaaay worse.

    honestly, i feel like there is a team that could use mcgrady in the rotation. but that team is 100% not the pistons.

  2. Hold up Tas, did you just write that T-Mac will be in the Hall of Fame?? Are you serious? I’m sorry but I don’t think he’s done enough to be considered at the same level as his contemporaries that will be in the HoF (Kobe, Duncan, Shaq, KG, etc.). The dude’s never made it out of the first round for christ’s sake. And when he finally had a good team in Houston, he was either injured or couldn’t get it done when healthy.

    Surely he was a great player, but he couldn’t sustain it for a long enough period of time to remove any doubts about his candidacy IMO.

    Why do you believe he deserves to be in the Hall?

  3. I may have been one of the few people who was actually semi-impressed by what I saw from Tracy in New York. He’s a shell of the athlete he used to be, but he’s a hell of a playmaker and if he can recover his jumpshot (which is admittedly a difficult accomplishment when you can barely jump) then he might be a useful piece of the bench for a contending team when he most likely gets traded before the deadline.

  4. Given the current state of the Pistons, I don’t think they had a lot to lose with this signing. Dumars rolled the dice on Iverson and he’s rolling the dice on McGrady. I don’t think there are a lot of scorers lining up to play for the Pistons these days so why not?
    Prince will be traded before the deadline. I think Portland could trade Rudy for him and both teams would benefit. Offense for defense. Rudy could be the man in Detroit and Prince brings a vet presence to the Blazers with an unselfish game and a great head for defense. McMillan coached Prince for team USA and loves the guy. I was a huge Pistons fan for years and they are rebuilding the team since Billups went to Denver and Sheed went to Boston. It’s a work in progress. McGrady is a cheap pickup that could reap benefits on offense. Picking him up tells me that a lot of wing players are on the block in Detroit. They will undoubtedly trade some of them for front court players who can throw a ball in a swimming pool.

  5. No one should compare this to Iverson in Detroit. People still thought Iverson had something in the tank when we traded for him, and he was making $21 million that year. Most people have given up on McGrady, and he’s making a minimum salary. If he becomes a problem — like Iverson eventually did — the Pistons can cut him and move on. There is no risk at all with this move.

    Best case scenario, McGrady reinvents his game in Detroit like Antonio McDyess did (both were coming off horrible knee injuries, both played a year in New York before coming to Detroit) — and the Pistons have the training staff to deal with his knees — and becomes a valuable role player. People were saying the same thing about Ben Wallace when we signed him for the vet minimum last year. “He has nothing left. It’s just to put butts in the seat.” It turned out Big Ben had a lot left in the tank, and he had his best season in a couple years. I don’t think McGrady will do too much for the Pistons, but there’s SOME potential there.

  6. I have to agree with Thom. Iverson still had the ability and talent to play the game and possibly take over games like he did. The problem with him was the of court issues. The problem with McGrady is that he has on court issues with injuries. You cant expect a player to play like he did in his prime when he is not 100% and I don’t think he will ever be. But there is a CHANCE that he discovers his dominance he had in his prime because at one point his was the best offensive player in the league for a couple years, so its no fluke. But also, he should come off the bench because if he does come out this year, he will probably be 6th man of the year.

    T-Mac is definately HOF worthy with his numbers of his best seasons, especially in the playoffs(ONE OF THE BEST PLAYOFF PERFORMERS IN HISTORY). The shaking of heads is because of the injury riddled career and not getting out the first round. When T-mac is healthy he is no doubt one of the best players in the world, other than that, its a tragedy.

  7. T-Mac…..”Future hall-of-famer”???? Are you kidding?

  8. Tas, TMac has less of a chance to make the Hall of Fame than Vince on Basketball-Reference’s list and they don’t think Vince goes in. Why would TMac?

  9. Classic: “This team will engage in an epic battle for the 12th or 13th spot in the East”

  10. T-mac would go in because of his numbers when he is healthy and his 2 scoring titles.
    Its the same reason Dirk might go in. His numbers are beautiful at his size and position of dominance.


  11. McGrady is on a team where he’ll never be the alpha male with the huge paycheck. If he can handle team play and shake off the superstar tag of his youth, he’ll contribute. He got paid a lot to rehab in Houston and now only has to reinvent himself as an asset to a team that needs scorers. As for the Hall of Fame or Future Hall of Famers, we should table that talk until they retire anyway! Accomplishments in sports are an accumulative process. Some guys get in just by selling enough jerseys, some by winning championships, others by carrying their teams through times of adversity. I don’t even think about him in that context. He could very well earn it someday as could Grant Hill or Dice. (Both Hill and Dice were written off years ago!) Theo Ratliff is another guy who was amazing when he was young before wrist injuries sidelined his career. The Lakers were smart to put him on their bench. I hope the Pistons have some success because I’ve always loved their team oriented, defensive game. Being a Blazer fan and Oregonian, I’m hoping Detroit trades Prince for Rudy and gives us another floor general-veteran presence. Rudy would get a lot of minutes in Detroit

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