We were pleased to see former Illini Deron Williams and Dee Brown advance to the Western Conference semifinals with the Jazz's win over the Rockets on Saturday night, but it brought us no joy to see the likable and seemingly doomed Tracy McGrady fail once again to push his team out of the first round. Free Darko muses on McGrady's slow march of anguish.
There are many ways to dampen the tragedy of T-Mac, but none of them can wish it away. After all is said and done, and no matter what people make of it, he still tried, tried, and has nothing to show for it. ... Here's why McGrady is different: at this point, his story is just plain sad. The injuries, the numerous lost loved ones, the depression, and the playoff woes—all of it together will get you down even if you're not looking for it. While Iverson or Garnett certainly take losing seriously, to some degree they leave that angst on the court. With McGrady, though, there's no separation between what we know of his personal life and the miserable cliche his career has become. ... If there's no reassurance to be found, it's because the ballad of Tracy McGrady is immune to sports. See him on the streets, and you'd probably try to hug him. And on some level, I'm sure he'd appreciate it.
For the record, though, we wouldn't recommend trying to hug McGrady if you see him. The guy has enough problems.
The Color Of Pigeons [Free Darko]
(Associated Press photo.)