In the modern NBA, the best players in the game are often measured solely by the number of championships they win or lose. Unfortunately for many great players, only one team gets to win it each year, and organizations are not created equal, which unfairly leaves some of the best to ever do it in a category that does not properly justify their greatness. One such player is perennial All-Star and future Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady, who joined Draymond Green on The Draymond Green show to discuss his feelings about being defined by his lack of a championship ring.
"I was an All-NBA player, I led the lead in scoring, I was a top-selling athlete with Adidas, and I'm recognized in China. Nothing in my life would have changed if I won a chip. Would I have wanted to win one? Of course!," said Tracy McGrady to Draymond Green.
Winning championships is hard, and the two legends concurred that many things have to go right beyond your will to win in order to get the chip. The two also agreed that not all 30 NBA teams are trying to win the title, which means that the organization you play for does play a massive role in your ability to win an NBA championship. Many players in the modern era are all-time greats who did not win a ring, but did we refer to them as players who weren't "winners" during their playing days? Definitely not.
TMac gave everything to the game whenever he got the chance. He played hard and constantly worked on his game to become one of the most unstoppable players this league has ever seen. McGrady may not have won a chip, but if you look at the teams he was on, there was no way they were going to compete with the top teams in the league, no matter how great he was.
Impact on the game
McGrady probably could have won it with the right team, but as the two legends mentioned, many things need to go right to win a championship. So even with the right team, a title is still far from guaranteed. What should matter is how a particular player makes us feel when they're on the court, how we appreciate the beauty of one's particular style of play over others, and how his peers respect him. By that measure, TMac passes with flying colors.
"Rings aren't everything."
Tracy McGrady, ">The Draymond Green Show
Currently, rings are everything, but that doesn't mean it is the way things should be. We may never see the likes of Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony win a championship, but should that take away from their greatness? Absolutely not. You're talking about some of the greatest to ever do it, so title or not, they should be appreciated just the same.