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“In hindsight, looking back, obviously I wish I had stayed in Toronto,” McGrady was saying in a recent telephone interview from his home in the Houston area. “There’s no doubt we could have contended for a championship. I think about that often. But if ‘if’ was a fifth, you know?”

“There’s no doubt we would have won that series if I would have been there,” McGrady said. “We had incredible camaraderie. You can’t duplicate that, man. Big brothers, little brothers — we had a mix. And me and Vince were in the perfect situation. You’ve got the two young superstars and you’ve got these old vets. They were our force field. They protected us from anything that happened on that basketball court. They did all the dirty work. And all we had to do was just concentrate on putting the ball in the hoop and guarding who we were guarding. It was just such a great time in my career.

“Had I been a little older and wiser and knew what was ahead of me, I would have stayed, no doubt, with those guys. But that was some of the best times of my life, man. Being with (Charles) Oakley and Kevin Willis and Antonio Davis, Muggsy (Bogues), Dell Curry, Dee Brown. Man. I still talk to a lot of those guys to this day. Because I appreciated how they looked out for me. They were all professionals.”

I too think that team has some very special traits, and if they had stayed together would’ve accomplished something of note. Perhaps I’m overcome with nostalgia here, but I recall them being an excellent blend of youth, talent and veteran leadership that were ready to explode.

I can’t help but lay some blame on this man for having benched McGrady, thus sowing seeds of resentment in the young man:


  • DryDry

    Thanks for making me sad.

    It’s always a treat when NBA TV shows a game from that era when the Raptors simply didn’t give a sh*t about who they were playing and who they were supposed to lose to.

  • mountio

    Its funny when you make the Walker comment .. and I cant help but think of Casey with Ross and JV last year. He better snap out of it and give these guys some court this year. Physco T is the new AA for me this year .. if he is eating up JVs minutes (similar to AA taking Ross’ last year) – I will be throwing shit at the TV left right and center.
    Realize that the CBA has changed so you get rooks for 4 years instead of 3 … but none the less, the lesson is that life is short in the NBA – dont spend it with your most talented players sitting on the end of your bench.

  • ajstarting5

    Would Tracy have taken the next step to be that superstar he became or settle in as that Pippen role and differ to Air Canada. Would have been fun to see either way

    • smh

      maybe they could have been co-captains, co-stars, etc. as we now know, VC was never comfortable being “the man”, and T-Mac would/could have deflected a lot of that attention

  • kaiokev

    Sounds like a broken record to me……

  • Roarque

    Mighty Mouse said basically the same thing – naïve are the youths, they do need guidance.

  • Brandon

    They would have won it all had they kept Camby. I blame this on management, because they could have convinced McGrady to stay had they been better at their jobs.

  • Bryan Colangelo

    Bill Simmons put it best recently, Tracy would of been Pippen 2.0 and Vince would have been the poor man’s Jordon. They actually complemented each other very well. Sure Tracy could score but numerous coaches said he was a rare talent that could do everything else better. He got screwed over having to carry almost the entire scoring load in Orlando and Houston.

  • morgan c

    Definitely the best years of the franchise, and certainly the most exciting. I almost forgot about how we had Oak, AD, Willis, Curry, Brown… damn, with VC AND Tmac, we would have won the East multiple times… oh well. Honestly, though, this article makes me appreciate Tmac more. He was young and wanted his own team. He is smart enough and humble enough to admit he made a mistake. He seems like a genuine good guy from the article.

    DAMN, we would have been sick…

  • Kupooo

    We need Wiggins!!! LOL