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Tracy McGrady laments ‘knuckleheads’ in the league today, including Michael Beasley

Sep 15, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Tracy-McGrady-looks-toward-the-future.-Getty-Images Getty Images

Casual fans of the game aren’t the only ones to struggle with understanding the poor decisions made by young twenty-somethings with enough physical skills and talent to earn multiple NBA contracts.

Go ahead and count Tracy McGrady in that same group as the rest of us.

McGrady will likely make the basketball Hall of Fame at some point, but he believes the game has changed since the prime of his playing days. He laments the number of “knuckleheads” who don’t appreciate the talent they’ve been blessed with or the opportunity that they’ve been given, and doesn’t get why players in the league would risk it all over some off-the-court nonsense.

From Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star:

“You’ve got some guys in the league now who are just knuckleheads,” McGrady said. “What turns me off is guys doing the wrong thing. Just the legal part of it, hanging out, getting these DUIs, marijuana — all that crazy stuff, just doing the wrong thing, setting a bad example for the young guys … I don’t quite understand it. I take a guy like (Michael) Beasley. Had all the potential in the world but he’s not level-headed. He just doesn’t get it. And a very talented player. But where else are you going to make this type of money doing something you love to do every day, take care of your family and play basketball. I mean, are you serious? You get millions of dollars for it and you mess these opportunities up? I don’t get it.”

Again, join the club.

No one will ever understand why a player with Beasley’s talent and upside makes the decisions that he does, or why he would choose to play with a level of apathy that would seem unconscionable to those outside of the professional basketball circles.

McGrady may come off to some as a crotchety old man here, but former players know better than anyone the gifts that are given to professional athletes. And throwing those away, no matter the reason, will continue to perplex those of us on the outside looking in — and even some on the inside, as well.

  1. thebigtebowski - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    Well said T-Mac

  2. orlandochamps - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    Having James, Wade, Bosh and the rest of the veteran guys mentoring Beasley, I think he will get his s**t together real soon. If he matures a little and takes a smoke break from bud next season , heck, he could even be potential 6th man of the year…

    • wizzle305 - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      Ray Allen is the 6th man! Highly doubt he will become a role player especially to someone on a short leash

    • orlandochamps - Sep 15, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      Don’t believe me just watch

    • daddyghi - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      next season? he’s only in for the training camp.. that’s it…

  3. orlandochamps - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Dont sleep on beasley y’all, hes one of the most underrated power forwards in the league.

    • david0303 - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      hahaha thank you for that i needed a good laugh

    • longtallsam - Sep 15, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Uhh…one of the most retarded, apparently!

    • boscoesworld - Sep 15, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      In the Miami Power Huka Championships maybe!!

    • borderline1988 - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      Answer to T-Mac:

      In every organization, there are always a few losers. It’s that simple. I work at a huge professional firm, and it really surprises me that there are some people here getting paid, even though they constantly screw over the people with responsibility b/c they never get their work done and always just complain. It doesn’t matter how many times you threaten them with their job…

      These people slip through the cracks. Eventually they get filtered out.

      It’s amazing that Beasley can get drafted #2 overall with an attitute like that. But mark my words, he will be gone soon enough.

  4. clevelandschronic2 - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Its hilarious that the heat fans believe beasley is gonna be so great since he signed back in miami. Funny since all i remember seeing was hate spewed at him while he was there before and ever since he left. But hey he signed back in miami so hes a great player and now hes supposedly one of the most underrated power-forwards (news flash no one else wanted him, but yeah hes so underrated)LMFAO.

    • miamatt - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Not heat fans. Heat fan.

      This Heat fan sure doesn’t think Beasley will help the club now or ever. Still, bringing him in on a non-guaranteed minimum contract to compete for the 14th-15th spot on the roster (the same try-out given to recent Heat 2nd round picks Jarvis Varnado and Justin Hamilton) is the type of no risk move Miami should roll the dice on.

      But yeah, calling him one of the NBA’s most underrated power forwards is just silly. I’ll even give ya LMFAO silly.

      • clevelandschronic2 - Sep 15, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Hey im glad theres Atleast one heat fan that is a realist when it comes to beasley. Im not bashing the guy. He smokes pot big deal. The problem is hes lazy and hes never lived up to his potential. I wish the guy well but i dont see him contributing much if at all, im not sure they need him anyway(2x champs without him) but we shall see

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      For some time, Beasley was one of the select few with his own t-shirt on sale at the Arena. He arrived with all the expectations, and also the honeymoon period, due a #2 overall. Then – after two years, 29 teams knew he was on the market (to clear cap space) but the best any of the 29 came up with was two second-’round picks. IOW things had gone sideways with Beasley for the whole league, up through 29 front offices, not just for Heat fans. He has a second chance now, and most Heat fans are (or should be) fine with that. Most are *not* about to predict anything. Hope, yes. Predict, no. Four guys will be competing for two roster spots. We await the outcome.

  5. golfrangeman - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    I would agree with underrated because at this point his rating is so low it’s off the charts.

  6. rodge1 - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    T-Mac should enjoy his retirement and just go away quietly…

    And it’s hilarious that a Cleveland fan is still bitter and resentful towards the Heat, when she should be upset at the Cavs’ owner.

    • badintent - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      Can we lock Dan Gilbert in a room with Howard Shultz and let them kill each other with Starbuck coffee ?

    • crik911 - Sep 17, 2013 at 9:14 AM

      Rodge1: Do you understand how the salary cap works? Cavs fans are furious with Lebron because he turned down more money to play in Miami. LBJ left and thats his right whether Cavs like it or not.

      Also interestingly enough Cavs fans should be blaming Bosh and LBJ. Bosh was supposed to do a sign and trade with the Raps-Cavs but he declared he didnt want to play the 5 position. So thats why he chose Miami, even tho he plays the 5 now. What a dummy.

  7. turkbox420 - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Man T-Mac was my favorite player for many years and I wanted him to get a ring so ban in San Antonio. He earned that chance making crappy teams make the playoffs.

    • turkbox420 - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      *bad not ban

  8. nflcrimerankingscom - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    I lament lazy eyes.

    • money2long - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      biggie smalls is the illest

  9. wizzle305 - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Tmac nvr played ton his full potential!!! He could’ve easily been the face of the NBA

    • mustangs2 - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      Only because of injuries. He was never once involved in a DUI or a drug scandal.

    • kb2408 - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      Obviously, you never saw him play when healthy.

  10. money2long - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    tmac sounds like he could be a decent analyst

    • doziaslim1 - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      This dude sounds so bitter. Probably pissed that Beas will get a ring before he does… probable does it high too. What a steal.

  11. kb2408 - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    @orlandochamps…..Eddie Curry played with LeBron, Wade, etc…how did their mentoring help him? Did he finally realize his potential? Just like Beasley, Curry was also a top five pick. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”

  12. 32magicman - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    The Heat should make him live in Lebron’s pocket and do everything he does. Same diet, training schedule, etc. If he watches the work ethic of the best, day in day out, it may just rub off on him.

  13. uscoach - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Hall of Famer?

  14. drewdatwit84 - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    My basketballs itch.

  15. drewdatwit84 - Sep 15, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    So much Heat jelly all up in here! Don’t be mad bcuz MY HEAT got Beasley and your loser team didn’t! listen here! David Stern’s final epic move before retirement: lift ALL substance abuse regulations against the HERB! and the Heat will win 3rd in a row FUR & SQUEER! hate on that, losers! BEASLEY FOR UNION PRESIDENT!

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      nobody actually talks like this, much less types like this…

  16. metalhead65 - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    they don’t get it because they don’t have to. they get paid way to much money and teams continue to give them multiple chances no matter what they have done. Beasley is the perfect example. why should they care or bother to change when they know they will always get a another chance? the league needs to hold out in the next contract talks until they are allowed to deal out harsh punishments for these knuckleheads. most people don’t care about smoking weed but come on dui’s beating your woman? they need to be dealt with swiftly and harshly and after the second time you are done for at least a year after that your done with the league. everybody makes mistakes but if you do it again that’s a pattern and needs to dealt with and if you do it again then you can’t play any more end of story. that will clean the league up and get rid of the knuckleheads. but as long as they have the union protecting them and owners stupid enough to keep paying them nothing will change.

  17. brokerhenry - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:44 AM

    T-Mac told it like it is. One can only hope that Beasley listens. This is probably his last chance to redeem himself. I just hope somehow someone shows him this story. Michael, please get it. No 9 to 5 is ever going to pay you like this. This is a chance you’ve got to grab with both hands, one leg and your teeth!!! And don’t you let go!!!!!

    Thank you T-Mac!

  18. antistratfordian - Sep 16, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    TMac should only speak for himself and it’s presumptuous of him to comment on someone else’s life like this when he knows nothing about it.

    Beasley may not even care about the money, may not even love the game that much, and he may be much happier out of the NBA but feels too much pressure to keep bringing home the bacon so his inner circle of family and friends can keep up their much coveted new-rich lifestyle. If that is the case – as it was for Ricky Williams, and to some extent even Michael Jordan – then McGrady’s words are hollow and actually offensive.

  19. turkbox420 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    T-mac took a bunch of heat from NBA “fans” but looking back he was a model superstar and role model who just was injured because he gave it his all. Grant Hill is another player like this. Tmac should have went to PHX after he left H-town. Maybe that awesome medical staff could have helped him a little more.

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