Just about every time Pistons guard Tracy McGrady touched the ball, the Rockets fans at Toyota Center Tuesday night booed at the former Houston star. The game had more runs than bad pantyhose, but the fans were pretty consistent with their verbal badgering.
McGrady spent six seasons in a Rockets uniform and still calls Houston his home. The game marks the first time he’s played against the Rockets at Toyota Center.
McGrady, who always seemed to have something questionable to say, dropped a doozy on the media this week.
“I want to know who they’re blaming around here now that I’m gone,” McGrady said.
The Rockets (8-13) have been struggling, and the blame can be placed on the injuries to key players at various point this season. Regardless of who or what is the blame for the Rockets’ struggling season, the booming sounds of fans booing at McGrady was pretty funny.
The Rockets beat the Pistons, 97-83, and McGrady will continue to know what losing at Toyota Center feels like.
McGrady was greeted with the greatest course of boos when he dropped a shoulder into Rockets point guard Kyle Lowry late in the third quarter. The hard foul threw Lowry out of bounds, and McGrady made no effort to help him up off the ground.
Maybe the only thing louder than the boos were the cheers that followed a bomb of a dunk by Luis Scola in the second quarter. Maybe.
What fans had to say
Rockets fan Robert Kleman compared McGrady’s return to Houston to LeBron James’ return to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers but says it’s worse for McGrady.
“LeBron was at least reminded of playoff appearances,” Kleman said. “Houston can only remind [McGrady] of the dynasty that never was. It’s a bad reminder of a failed experiement.”
Rockets Rowdy Maya Jones, who’s often the first caller to voice her opinion during post-game radio broadcasts on Sports Radio 610, says she wouldn’t boo McGrady since he helped buy tickets for the Red Rowdies during the first couple of seasons of their existence.
“The Rowdies didn’t boo him,” Jones said on Sports Radio 610. “Man, I loved the crowd participation, though. He did leave on messy terms.”
McGrady was a bit sluggish defensively but was still able to come off the bench and have double-digit scoring.
“I was glad not to see him look broken-down,” Jones said. “I don’t want to see a player of his magnitude be broken-down.”
Anthony Singleton, a Detroit native, has been a Houston resident for three years and is glad to see the former Rockets play for his beloved Pistons. He was disappointed to see so many anti-McGrady fans express their dislike by booing.
“I thought it was rude,” Singleton said about the negative reception for McGrady. “I thought he was a pretty good player for the Rockets while he could play. We love him in Detroit.”
Rip Hamilton was tossed out of the game in the second quarter for arguing a call with the officials. He threw his mask in reponse while walking to the locker room.
Rockets forward Luis Scola led both teams with 35 points.
McGrady finished the game with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.
In the fourth quarter, Rockets guard Courtney Lee blocked a shot by Pistons shooting guard Ben Gordon, sending the ball into the fourth row of seats. He had no problem finding the ball but could not find the basket. Lee had 22 minutes of playing time and finished the game with a grand total of zero points on five shots.