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As Dallas found almost every way to lose the game tonight and still won, this upcoming summer crossed my mind. What's going to happen this summer? Even crazier, what is going to happen next year?

We already know that next summer, the NBA elite become free agents. The 2010 offseason will truly shape the NBA for the next few years with it being a King's Summer, where Lebron will have the whole league at his disposal, being a free agent. But it's also the summer of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Tyson Chandler, Manu Ginobili, Richard Jefferson, Joe Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Redd, each of whom can become an unrestricted free agents in 2010.

But with Atlanta already out this round, and Dallas presumably already gone (even with tonight's win), who could be moving this summer?

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Goodness, it feels like the playoffs have been going on for months. Thirteen days to be exact. But wow, some of these series just kept going. In a perfect world, every series would have been a best-of-five, but the Bulls-Celtics series would be a best-of-seventeen. And I think we'd still be going into over-time every night.

The first round is ALMOST done, but we've already seen some things that have opened some eyes. The Rockets finally won a series! the 76ers have some kick to them. The Hornets are a disgrace to basketball, and quit on a good man. Byron Scott will be fired this summer because nobody on that team listens to him. Lebron is a beast. The Detroit Pistons are desolate (at least they have hockey). Tim Duncan lost his first ever first round series. Jerry Sloan might finally say goodbye to the NBA. Jason Kidd in Dallas worked out after-all. The Nuggets are scary. Brandon Roy is a top five guard in the NBA. Dwayne Wade is a G. So is Ray Allen. Oh, and Rondo was the first player to drop 19 assists and no turnovers since Norm Nixon...and they still lost. And the list goes on.

But let's take a look at some pretty interesting themes revolving the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

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Among many NBA followers, both on the East and the West... there is a large consensus that the Western Conference Finals is already a given. It will be between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs. Early on in the season, many teams were discussed. New Orleans was said to be the front runner in fighting Los Angeles for the Western Conference Champion title this year. San Antonio is there every year, but with Ron Artest coming to the Rockets, they too, looked like they were ready to step to the next level of competing and fight both the Lakers and Spurs to the Finals.

Alas, the season is finally coming to an end, and it still isn't clear which eight teams will be in the playoffs to begin with. While Phoenix looks like it's finally on its way out, the inconsistencies of other teams could give Phoenix a small boost. Injuries have hurt the West considerably with many high-profile players being injured (Andrew Bynum, Manu Ginobili, Tracy McGrady, Tyson Chandler, Josh Howard, Amare Stoudemire, Greg Oden, Carlos Boozer). Practically every playoff team has had to deal with a major injury at some point this year, and for the most part, it has hurt them.

But injuries aside, can anyone:

A) dethrone the Lakers as the Western Conference Champions?
B) get past the preconceived notion that the Spurs and Lakers will be battling it out to get to the NBA Finals at the end of May?

Let's take a look.

No, his career's not over, but his career in Houston pretty much is. All the Rockets need to know is if he can play well enough to have trade value when he comes back from microfracture surgery. All they need is for him to be able to resemble the old Tracy McGrady is six minute bursts, just long enough to trick some less-intelligent GM into giving up two good players, a draft pick, and an expiring contract. The Rockets have discovered the kind of team they want and it's the team that dismantled LeBron Jesus and the Disciples on Thursday.

This Rockets team has a record of 12-6 whenever McGrady's out, which is better than the 20-15 record they have when he plays. That's strike one. They've been decent, but struggling to find an identity. They don't know whether they want to be a finesse team or a rough-and-rugged team. Lucky for Houston that Tracy McGrady's knee decided it needed to be cut open, because his fragile leg made all of the tough decisions for them.


Way back in the day before I was "Sports Journalist Rob" or "Corporate Rob" or "Actor Rob" and etc I was "Rapper Rob" and I had this called "Who I Be". This is in the early 2000s and the song wasn't really about anything just a lot of bragging and boasting, but out of the millions of lines I have written and rhymed about over the last decade or so (I started rapping when I was 16) these one set of lines even to this day I find myself muttering randomly sometimes:

"I'm Talking To Kobe's Lady / She's Calling Me Baby / T-Macking in the Bed / She Screams Tracy McGrady"

It is a play on words because there were a lot of people at that time who thought Tracy McGrady would be a better player than Kobe Bryant. With the news today that McGrady will need Microfracture surgery on his knee I am starting to think that his career as a dominant NBA player is done.

I don't think he will retire or that he won't be healthy enough to play again but I believe though the T-Mac we knew we will never see again. Very similar to Penny Hardaway or Grant Hill sometimes you just never recover. McGrady even when he was a young player was having back issues that had him walking around the court like a 50 year old man.

It is sad really because skill wise he had it all, but he was just never able to put it together at the right time with the right team. Now you have to wonder if he will ever get that 2nd round virgin label off of him.

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We already know the starters for the NBA All-Star game this year. But let's re-cap:

F - Amare Stoudemire (PHO)
F - Tim Duncan (SAN)
C - Yao Ming (HOU)
G - Kobe Bryant (LAL)
G - Chris Paul (NOH)

F - Lebron James (CLE)
F - Kevin Garnett (BOS)
C - Dwight Howard (ORL)
G - Dwayne Wade (MIA)
G - Allen Iverson (DET)

Reserves have been announced today by the NBA, via TNT & ESPN.

F - Dirk Nowitzi (DAL)
F - David West (NOH)
F - Pau Gasol (LAL)
C - Shaquille O'Neal (PHO)
G - Chauncey Billups (DEN)
G - Brandon Roy (POR)
G - Tony Parker (SAN)

F - Danny Granger (IND)
F - Rashard Lews (ORL)
F - Paul Pierce (BOS)
C - Chris Bosh (TOR)
G - Joe Johnson (ATL)
G - Jameer Nelson (ORL)
G - Devin Harris (NJ)

Some regulars like Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and co. aren't on the team this year, and is Carmelo Anthony an all-star snub? Lebron James thought that teammate Mo Williams was a sure for the All-Star game. There's a lot of talk that players on bad teams (Granger, Bosh and Harris) shouldn't be an All-Star because their teams aren't doing anything...out in LA, they called it the Elton Brand curse. EB rocked it year after year, but because he was on the Clippers, and there were so many other power forwards on the West in front of him, he never made it.

Other possible snubs: Andre Iguodala, Hedo Turkoglu, Kevin Durant, Al Jefferson, David Lee, Steve Nash, LaMarcus Aldridge, Antawn Jamison, Marcus Camby, Rip Hamilton & Ray Allen.

Oh yeah, Stephon Marbury is the biggest snub of the year.

Just kidding.

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Tracy McGrady is hurt. I am sure I have written that about 40 times since I have started BSO, but when you get hurt 12 times what can you do? I am starting to think it is in his DNA considering his cousin is Half Man/Half Hurt V. Carter who once sat out of a game with a hangnail is always rolling around like Nancy Kerrigan.

The Rockets were a trendy NBA Finals pick, but I never bought into it not because of the addition of the always volatile Ron Artest but because Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady can never stay on the court. Maybe Mcgrady is a plague because everyone he plays with gets hurt too. Every since he came to the Rockets Yao Ming has been hit was various ailments.

Some of this I am sure can just be bad luck, but McGrady isn't even 30 yet his body is breaking down like a 75 year old. I told someone this last year after watching him hobble around with knee, back and shoulder injuries that he won't last another five years in the league. He is the Sandy Koufax of our generation except his isn't nearly as dominant and hasn't sniffed the 2nd round of the playoffs. So a better comparison would be Bernard King extremely talented borderline unstoppable but his body just couldn't keep it with that talent.


We hear about child support everyday. For those of you who are not familiar with child support, the true definition of child support is: funding for the child. Well, Tracy McGrady's babymama was granted $54,000 a year.

Get this though. At first, Ms. Pearl Vega wanted $204,000 a year to match McGrady's $21.6 million annual income. The reason for all of that is because she felt like McGrady's other children in wedlock were getting more such as a 16,000 birthday party for 40 kids with a magician, clown, face painter, games and music. Also his other children go on trips and do more fun things.

I mean that's what families do,am I correct? The whole thing in a nutshell is that she is trying to live a lifestyle that she never had. Getting child support from McGrady will change her whole life around because she plans to use the money to attend college as a fulltime student, get a full-time nanny and other domestic help because she knows that McGrady shares a six-bedroom, 23,000-square-foot house with a pool outside Houston with his wife and three children. He spends $5,000 per month on a chef and $1,732 for a housekeeper and his FAMILY spends about $45,000 per month for personal travel, sometimes on private jets.

My personal thought is: Why isn't this out of wedlock child included in any of these activities? Reguardless of the fact that it isn't his wife's child, its still his child and he/she should know her extended family. Correct? Maybe it's just me, but in the long run, sisters and brothers will need each other in the future. As far as the babymama, just goes to show that she isn't a "go getta". There are financial aid programs and grants she can get to further her career. Come on now Pearl, don't use your baby as a excuse to live your fantasy lifestyle.



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The question keeps coming as the consecutive wins keep piling up for the Houston Rockets.

"Are you a believer now?"

The answer to that question is an emphatic:


I said it last week and I will continue to say this no matter how many games the Rockets win in a row. Until they win a 1st round playoff series they are more pretenders than contenders.

Not to take anything away from their accomplishments, but don't get it twisted. Regular season accomplishments are nice, but post season accomplishments are remembered forever.

Written By Robert Littal

April 2012

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This page is a archive of recent entries in the Tracy McGrady category.

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