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Tracy McGrady: "I don't think I'm the MVP"
by Mike Tuck / April 6, 2002

25.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. All impressive numbers. T-Mac, are you the NBA MVP?

Tracy McGrady: I really don’t think so. Yeah, I’m having a pretty good year. But not as good as J-Kidd.

You'd vote for Jason Kidd?

TM: I gave J-Kidd the award already. (Laughs) He’s doing a phenomenal job up there in Jersey. With all the triple-doubles, and leading the East in the standings, he’s shown that he’s an All-Star and a terrific player in this league.

A couple weeks ago you took a nasty fall and had to be taken out in an ambulance. Were you scared and how bad was it?

TM: Ah… I just thought I was gone for the season. I was in so much pain; I didn’t really want anyone to touch me at the time. I just thought that was it for me.

How are you feeling now?

TM: The back is holding up pretty well. It’s doing well. Hopefully it can continue that.

You have had to play a lot of minutes this year with the injuries to Grant Hill and Mike Miller. Can you continue to hold up playing so much?

TM: I’m just running on young age, that’s all. I can maintain this; nothing is going to wear me down. Hopefully I don’t have to play 44, 45 minutes a night. Hopefully it can be 40 one night, 35, if we can blow a team out I can just rest in the 4th quarter like I used to do.

Do the Magic have a goal to be a 3rd seed, 4th seed, anything like that?

TM: Well, right now I’m really not so much looking at where we are at in the playoffs. I think we just need to take one game at a time. I think we’re going to be fine as far as being in the playoffs. It just needs to be determined what spot we’ll be. We just need to take one game at a time.

The Magic have the second best home record in the East. How important is that come playoffs?

TM: We have to take care of our home court. That’s just the most important thing. Yeah, we’ve been doing it well; we got to continue to do that. This is our home court and we got to protect that.

The end of the season is upon us. Any pressure on you to play better?

TM: It’s time for me to step up. I kind of had a rough first half of the season. I really wasn’t playing the kind of basketball I was capable of playing. So now in the second half everything is on me for this team to go up in the playoff spots and for me to elevate my game to another level.

Did George Karl’s comments about Doc Rivers bother you and do you think he is a racist?

TM: It really did. But I really don’t think he meant everything he said. I don’t think George is that way. I think he’s a great guy. He’s not racist at all. So, no. No racism, no.

You are a popular player, a superstar, but in Toronto they don’t like you very much. They are pretty big on booing you. Does that affect your game?

TM: Definitely. Definitely you feed off the boos. I’m a guy that likes to be getting booed because it just makes me play harder. I just definitely bring my “A” game and I have a lot of fun with it as well.

Did you leave Toronto because you thought you were in Vince Carter's shadow?

TM: I felt like I never was in his shadow because it wasn’t my time then. I was a young guy, playing behind this guy that went to college and came into a system where he was the man, and I was still his young guy. It was still a learning experience for me.

NCAA tournament just wound up this week. Do you ever regret not going to college?

TM: Not at all. Not at all. Basketball is basketball to me. It looks a little easy out there, but I would never know. (Laughs)

Not everyone knows how good of friends you are with Mike Miller. Can you speak to your friendship and the trade rumors that surrounded him earlier this year and in the offseason?

TM: We are good friends off the court. I call Mike my little white brother. They trade Mike Miller, I’m retiring. Simple as that. (Laughs)

Mike Tuck is a producer/on-air talent for 740 The Team in Orlando and a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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