Smack / Jun 28, 2010 / 12:10 am

Dream Team 2001: Kobe and T-Mac joining forces?

Nobody would have predicted this. It wasn’t really that long ago when Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady were neck-and-neck in the debate over who was the most talented player — Shaq and Tim Duncan were still the most dominant — and explosive offensive weapon in the NBA. Today, Kobe and T-Mac are both 31 years old, but while Kobe is still pretty much in his prime and leading his team to championships, T-Mac is like a classic car running on fumes and still hasn’t been on the court in the second round of the playoffs … There have been plenty of “Damn, T-Mac is old” moments over the last couple years, but the final dagger may have happened over the weekend, when we heard McGrady (at Ron Artest‘s urging) would be open to signing with the Lakers this summer for a reduced role and a big pay cut. In other words, T-Mac has entered the Glen Rice/Mitch Richmond/Gary Payton zone. He’s the old guy trying to snatch a ring on his way out even if it means being less Alpha Dog and more Adam Morrison. It’s crazy enough that we’re going into a summer where nobody cares that Shaq and Allen Iverson are free agents, and now this … You probably noticed the Dallas Mavericks were not on LeBron‘s short list of free-agent destinations. But they want in anyway. The Mavs have reportedly been trying to squeeze into LeBron’s schedule of team meetings, even though they could realistically only get him via sign-and-trade and we can’t see Cleveland going for that. On one hand, the Cavs would hate to lose LeBron for nothing, but at the same time, you can’t make it look like you agreed to let LeBron walk away by engineering a sign-and-trade. The Cavs just have to take the risk; either LBJ stays home or he signs somewhere else. Make it look like you gave your best effort, and maybe the fans won’t hate you forever. (Although taking a collective nap during the Draft didn’t help the Cavs look good as far as trying to impress LeBron.) … If the Bulls get LeBron (kind of a big deal at Nike) to play alongside Derrick Rose (kind of a big deal at adidas), does the sneaker industry have to relocate to Chicago for the next decade? … Question for Knicks fans: Let’s say LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh all turn you down. Would you by happy signing Joe Johnson and Amar’e Stoudemire this summer, then bringing Ricky Rubio into the fold via trade next summer? You’d have Amar’e back with Mike D’Antoni, Johnson playing for a coach that has some semblance of offensive creativity, and Rubio playing the part of Young Steve Nash, feeding Amar’e on those pick-and-rolls … The Cavs still need to find a coach. By all accounts it’s coming down to Byron Scott and Brian Shaw, who could also be the top two candidates for the Lakers job should Phil Jackson retire. The Lakers almost have to pick somebody to replace Phil who’s already well-respected in the organization. Otherwise, he’ll automatically be seen as the Mike Brown to Kobe’s LeBron, and Kobe will end up coaching the team by mid-season of Year 1. You know who’s definitely not getting the job? Chucky Atkins … Undrafted rookies update: Scottie Reynolds (Villanova) is going to play with Phoenix in the summer league, while Sylven Landesberg (Virginia) is headed to Sacramento … Now that they have Greg Monroe, the Pistons are said to be trying to trade Chris Wilcox and/or Jason Maxiell. If it’s an either/or thing, Wilcox has to be the guy you send packing. Sure, he’s taller than Maxiell, but Maxiell busts his ass every night while Wilcox shows up about once a week. Plus Wilcox is 27 years old now; the “potential” thing was done and over with a while ago … And speaking of wasted talent, Stromile Swift wants back in the NBA. Our favorite one-note dunker was banging on dudes in China this season. At 30 years old, maybe he’s old enough now to care about getting better … We’re out like Stro Show …

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  • Legend 33

    For some reason TMAC seems like a better fit with my Celtics, I guess it’s the age thing. Can’t imagine what TMAC can give to the Lakers that Morrison didn’t…And if New York gets Amare and Joe Johnson as their FAs and Rubio they are doomed to be a 40 win team for the next 5 years. Or they can flip Curry for Arenas to play the point because Rubio is not coming till 2011 and won’t help you win for another 2 or 3 years and that’s only if he is any good.

  • deon jones

    First time ever, T-Mac sit your a&& down.

  • mr analyst


    shaq and ai fa? ai to run the point guard duties in la !!

    he can’t…
    but he can if u understand.

    a.i has the ABILITY, but does he hav the mind/focus to do it and accept that role for 82+ games…ummm

    lets jus hope signs tmac for now

  • mr analyst


    shaq and ai fa? ai to run the point guard duties in la !!

    he can’t…
    but he can if u understand.

    a.i has the ABILITY, but does he hav the mind/focus to do it and accept that role for 82+ games…ummm

    lets jus hope LA signs tmac for now

  • MrAlmostCluth

    T-Mac will be to the 2011 Lakers as Mitch Richmond was to the 2002 Lakers.

    In all seriousness, this might be a nice pick up for the bench mob. But would T-Mac be willing to go from first option on a team to possibly fifth or sixth.

  • Mr. TKO

    I was reading this on a lakers site a few days back, I think it would be a great pickup for the lakers (for the veteran minimum) T mac and Odom coming off the bench would drastically improve the firepower of the bench, it would work out for Tmac, because he could come back in slow and work his way back to some kind of respectable basketball shape, whle that gives the lakers two tall ass ballhandlers off of the bench and people that can come spark the starters in case there needs to be a change in the starting lineup for a minute. I’m all for it as long as we can afford a decent point guard to spell Mr. Fisher as well

  • Jason

    Shaq and T-mac to the Lakers….

  • alf (from melmak)

    Having watched Ricky Rubio in some games makes me believe that he can transform an average team into a really good team. He is a special player. So if the Knicks can come out at best with a Rubio, Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire, Danilo Gallinari, Al Harrington, and Eddie House core they will still make a lot of noise in the East.

    I am now begging Utah to sign Shaquille O’Neal to some or all of its mid-level exception. A healthy Shaq that still has 70 percent of his talent is still one of the top five centers in the league. Jerry Sloan will also definitely get him in shape make him a productive player.

    I love the Stromile Swift of what I call the “glory days” of Memphis Grizzlies. That team with Pau Gasol, Jayson Williams, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Swift, and coached by Hubie Brown was such a talented and fun team to watch. Hope the NBA gives him a second chance.

    Top 100 reasons why Dime should hire me as one of its regular writers.

    75. In some ways, I am like Rasheed Wallace who very soon will most likely become a coach or general manager in the NBA. Ball don’t lie.

  • jdstorm

    Cant the lakers just sign Steve Blake or Luke Ridnour then end F/A for the summer. If they had a guard that consistently hit almost 40% on three’s, and cared on defense, no team in the league really has a shot at them. unless Yao or Oden are Healthy for a whole year.

    Then we can start hearing the trade deadline talk that has the lakers getting Wes johnson and Kevin love for Sasha’s Expiring contract

  • Bub

    “At 30 years old, maybe he’s old enough now to care about getting better …”

    greatest quote about stromile swift i have ever heard. haha

  • Showtime

    Hell no, we don’t want to get killed in the first round. I’d rather go for Steve Blake and Raja Bell

  • Jay

    There really isn’t any need for TMac on the team, but it’s a low risk proposition, so why not go for it? The team can definitely use some more offense coming off the bench, and for the vet minimum it won’t be a major loss if he can’t dust off the rust. Plus, just about anybody would be more useful than Sasha and Luke.

    And JJ & Amare reuniting with D’Antoni would be pretty nice, but that would still be a first round exit in the East. Expecting Rubio to exceed the hype and be anywhere near as good as a younger Steve Nash is just ridiculous.

    And lastly, Stromile Swift is THIRTY YEARS OLD!? Wow. Time flies.

  • RapTOr

    Man… where have the years gone? it seems like only yesterday that tmac, vc, kg, shaq, and ai wouldve made up the most feared and explosive starting 5 in the league. Funny isn’t it?

    It always amazes me how quickly guys can fall off in the NBA (Steve Francis anyone?). The interesting thing is, alot of the time, you’d never guess that in 2 years time a superstar could become so irrelevant. The NBA really is becoming a young mans league.

    I wonder who’s next?

  • sh!tfaced

    “Stromile Swift… was banging on dudes in China…”

    LOL. WTF? The Stro(KE) Show finally comes out at 30?

    T-Mac definitely fits better with the Celtics. Just like every old, washed up superstar in the league.
    Bring on T-Mac, Brad Miller, Shaq, AI and the rest of the wheelchair gang to Boston for one last hurrah. Maybe Sheed might even reconsider and un-retire.

  • the cynic

    T-Mac is a good pick up if he is going to be the teams 6th or 7th best player in the same way Artest is a great pickup if he is going to be the 4th best player

  • yoda

    @11 raja bell in lal? with kobe still playing? i don’t think so.
    as for t-mac, not sure would he take vet min. for that kind of money, yeah he’s welcomed but for anything more, he’s just too much of a risk. i mean, to have him and luke at same tame in same team, they could go for 7 games in total, in one season.
    i hope PJ will decide soon will he be back or its time to retire.

  • chance

    Tmac to Boston? Don’t think so. With Perkins out till 2012, the Celtics are better off signing a big man with their mid level exception.

    How about Tmac to the Spurs? God knows they need someone who can create shots for himself apart from Manu

  • chance

    Tmac to Boston? Don’t think so. With Perkins out till 2011, the Celtics are better off signing a big man with their mid level exception.

    How about Tmac to the Spurs? God knows they need someone who can create shots for himself apart from Manu

  • sh!tfaced

    Whoever signs T-Mac won’t make it out of the first round next year.

  • M Intellect

    T-Mac at LA means another 2 chips. You can take Kobe out and he’s smart enough to initiate the triangle offense and get Pau buckets plus if you put him and Kobe in, they will bust zones.

    He’s basically Kobe without the green light to shoot at will or the lockdown D, which is basically a damn good back-up.

    On the second unit he can kinda still create his own shot and get other team-mates looks which basically means Lamar Odom can stay in the utility-man role.

  • Steve Nasty

    T-Mac is poison. I doubt any playoff side would sign him. He can’t/won’t play defence, which playoff teams need.

  • http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/703154723/the-soulchorea-project?pos=1 Kermit The Washington

    Funny thought: What if Shaq ended up back in LA? I didn’t realize he was a free agent. And if Kobe can fight with Artest, and then link up, or even with RAJA BELL being a possibility for this year…I hate Shaq so much for the post ’04 fallout, but that would be mad funny. He’s probably already thinking about retiring in LA now…

  • e

    how cool would it be if ahmad rashad chris webber and gary payton would have covered the draft they need to get those three back together again

  • Celts Fan

    @Kermit – hate Kobe for starting the 2004 ish on Shaq. Stop snitchin’ especially about teammates paying girls off. What a dirtbag.

    and Kobe never fought Artest – that’s the only reason he’s alive today. He and Raja sorta fought. He and Reggie Miller fought. He and Artest started jawing at each other and Kobe put his arms up reeeeeeeeeeal quick. It probably saved his life.

  • http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/703154723/the-soulchorea-project?pos=1 Kermit The Washington

    @ Celts Fan (and anyone else for that matter):

    You should realize by now, after everything we’ve seen since ’04, that Shaq was just as responsible for what went down. If anything, it was 50-50, but Kobe’s taken 90% of the blame because of the rape charge and because Shaq was older, and was the most respected guy in the league at the time and EVERYONE had his back. Which seems a bit foolish looking back, that Shaq had so much respect from everyone. He’s shown his true colors in the years following his LA exit. Sure, Kobe made it worse when he “snitched” on Shaq, but that’s not why Shaq left.

  • SJ

    Kobe got owned by Reggie. I bet Cheryl could take him, too.


    TMac in a reduced role would obviously be the best thing for him and hes probably better than Fisher or Farmar at the Point so the Lakers should definitely take the gamble. He showed some flashes of still having it in NY and you’d imagine that LA would probably split starter minutes between him and Fish which would save both of them.
    Ask him to join a team where he has to play 25+mpg and carry some of the offensive load and he will break.
    Ask him to basically do what Fish did last season and he might just win some playoff games.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    For comedy sake, I hope T-Mac signs with Toronto.
    Toronto is the only place is the league where they boo their one players everytime they touch the ball. Turkoglu got it bad last year. I understand he didn’t live up to expectations but fans shouldn’t boo their own players. There’s a reason why he played better on the road than at home.
    Toronto fans always saying “Fuck Turkoglu”… well Fuck Raptor Fans. and I’m from Toronto.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    one = own players

  • billyians

    T-Mac, Shaq and Iverson all sign for minimums in Toronto to form the “old 3″ and win the championship

  • Pat

    Can you give an example when a superstar has been happy sitting on the bench? Just like Iverson, T-Mac has that mentality. If he’s on the lakers, he will angle himself to replace Artest as the starting small forward. Unless the lakers are amenable to that, he will be a cancer/loser. As for the knicks signing JJ and Amare, talent plays a big factor in winning but everyone seems to discount team chemistry. There will be problems having that much ego on the court at the same time. Also, as much as i don’t like D’antoni, his offense allows everyone to feel good about the touches they get.

  • http://tolulope.edun@gmail.com Ade=Lakers

    Lakers. Laker fans all know that our biggest weakness besides defending point guards & out shooting is bench production. Besides resigning D. Fish, when we get T Mac, he will provide scoring power for the second unit. This gives us a guy who can still create for himself & others. This toakes pressure off Kobe to player so many mins. & L.O. to be the leader of theP second unit every night. If T Mac could stay healthily, maybe give us around 70 games & be ready for the playoffs, this is scarrryyyy! We only need him to play 20-25 mins per game. In addition, we are also suppose to sign Raja Bell & Steve Blake with an experienced big. Bell & Blake give us outside shooting. Bell gives us another lock down defender to go with Ron Ron, & Blake knows how to use his size to defend quick pgs; is an upgrade over Farmar. Any experienced big; only needs to rebound & defend; depth for playoff matchups. Allows L.O. to play some sf. Goodbye Farmar, Morrision, Congo Cash, J.P. & Brown, Mr. Energy. 3PEAT!!! Knicks. First NY should go hard at Amare, aka ‘STATS’, because they’re not getting Bosh. Reuniting Amare with Mike, is a better option than getting Boozer. If Donnie & the boys were smart they would sign & trade David Lee for Hedo from T.O., instead of paying J.J. max money. Granted, Hedo is coming off a bad season, but I think that was due more to the system he was in & the personnel he was playing with(no 3 point shooters to kick to), than his skills being diminished. Hedo’s contract has 4 years- $40 mill left on it. NY would save tons of money getting Hedo instead of J.J. at max price. They are basically the same player. An argument could cut both ways as to who is better, but I’ll say Hedo at his price. Dude is a matchup nightmare: 6′10, with pg handles, great passer, strectches the dee with the 3ball. Now, picture him in Mike’s system. The only con is that Hedo sucks on dee, but Mike doesn’t demand defensive from his players anyway. This coupled with possibly acquiring Tyson Chandler at mid level (5yr $ 31 mill) Then NY drop Eddy Curry’s contract at the end of the season, so NY could get a real MAX player next summer (If Melo doesn’t sign the extension & opts out) NY’s starting line up. Pg. T. Douglas. Sg. Danilo/ Chandler, Sf. Hedo, Pf. Amare, C. T. Chandler. Great alternative to losing out on the LBJ sweepstakes & spending money wisely. Totally possible.

  • Jdoogz

    As far as TMAC is concerned if the Lakes grab him for the Vet min and he can save Fish from being on the court all the time it would be a steal for us LA fans

    As far as Oneal is concerned Im sick and tired of all this Shaq v Kobe shit both sides are some what to blame in all this but at the end of the day what they are doing is a damn job we are the fans they are employees and if both of them were to egotistical to put stuff in a drawer shame on them both – each one of their legacies could have been greater if they had shut the fuck up and played with each other – They may have had 6 or 7 rings each now so shame on them if i recvd that dough to play and I didnt like my superstar fellow employee some drinks and a few quiet conversations later i would have had that situation wrapped

    And for all you Kobe bashers (he’s still the best in the league) and in the top 5 of the best we have seen

  • LakeShow84

    ooooo child if we get T-Mac we dancing out here..

    Adding that offense to our already one sided defense?? We basically make up for Ariza’s lost offense with that.. even though i doubt Tmac can be an effective slasher like Ariza was, TMac mid-range game is SO MUCH more polished.. actually scratch that.. TMac has a mid range game lol

    Damn then TMac could spell Fish some?? Man resign Brown, sign TMac to the minimum, laugh at Shaq for even tyring to step foot back in the building and call it a summer..

    @ CeltsFan

    Shouldnt be hating on Kobe.. His held his end of the bargain with a rebuilt team..

    Shaq has destroyed damn near ever team hes touched since then and if not for D-Wade channeling his Michael Jordan Shaq wouldnt have shit to show for..

    You do the math.. Oh but your right he snitched on Shaq for something that was completely UN-basketball related.. i mean really?? Who gives a f#$k..

    Cracks me up how people always try to act like thats why they dont like Kobe.. “he snitched on Shaq”

    Nah a rich ass, spoiled athlete got caught on the spot by the police and didnt realize that EVERYTHING he said would be dropped to the media.. dude panicked and said too much.. If he was smart he woudlve said he aint answering shit until he talks to his lawyer right?? he wet the bed.. oh well..

    Shaq and all you little kids should get over that..

    And if you dont want to be caught cheating.. DONT CHEAT..

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Wow is it my birthday already? Course personally I would love to see Mac on the Lakers BUT I do feel that the success of it all will be if Phil is coaching.

    I think Phil would know how to use and get the best out of McGrady. The triangle would be a great look for McGrady and he has a great enough supporting cast where weight is not on his shoulders to carry and he can facilitate and create.

    I think he would most def. agree to coming off the bench and I mean he has offered up his All-Star spot before and he would fit in nicely I feel with everyone.

    Although the biggest concern I see would be Kobe barking at dude, I mean it’s one thing to bark at Sasha and Pau’s of the world but I don’t think Mac would take to kind to that ish, specially on the floor. That is not likely to happen specially if Kobe and Ron can get along then Mac and he should be able to.

    Man I hope this happens. LA is already my fav. second squad so it would be on, specially considering I am kinda pissed with Houston right now.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    I can’t believe nobody picked up Scottie Reynolds either. Dude is a very solid player and better than a lot of cats that got drafted. I really hope he gets on cause he can do some things. Dude would have made an excellent back up to Deron Williams not just because they both light skinned lol.

  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    Sure wish Dime would get rid of that stupid complex.com/yahoo tool bar at the bottom of each page….

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    @Gee, because Scottie Reynalds is a 6’1 small forward. he’s ass.


    G.Payton, Webber, and Ahmad Rashad were the most ignorant collection of people to ever sit in a studio. The NAACP wouldnt have let them go on much longer as they were an embarassment to black people.

    Here in Chicago all I keep hearing is that Bosh/Lebron is a done deal they are coming to Chicago. Is that the same thing going on everywhere else? Is every team claiming to have Bron locked up? Or is Chicago front running in the Bron sweepstakes?

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla


    You want DIME to get rid of that toolbar, stop clicking on every article that relates to Lebron/Kobe/Wade or this Free agent thing. The site gets hits each time. And they use that as a selling point for ads I guess. Not a big deal though, Slam, ESPN and other sites are full of them too.

  • LakeShow84

    @ ChiTown

    I been hearing a lot about Bron heading to Chicago too.. They might just have the lead..

    But all that is for show..

    Lebron has to act like its an open sweepstakes.. The main underlining of his whole “freen agency” is him ending up in NY.. Team or not..

    And while we rarely agree i MAJORLY agree with CWebb, Payton and Rashad being on the same platform.. them idiots would all 3 be talking at once.. kinda like a drunken family barbeque where your uncles are all going off about another family member round 8pm cuz they buzz is good..

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla


    Well I certainly don’t want LBJ here. But I also didn’t want Rodman back in 95-96 but it worked out. I just don’t believe Lebron has the mindset to ever become a true winner. Not just win Chips, but really WIN. Winning chips is all about the right situation with you, your teammates, your coach, and especially your management. Lebron was missing the “you’ part this past season. And doesn’t seem like he gets it. Whatever.

    My ideal situation for the Bulls is this:

    1)Trade Deng to Minny for Al Jefferson
    2) Sign Joe Johnson (seems like he wants to come here)
    3) pull out of the Kirk Hinrich deal
    4)use the rest of the money to throw at a defensive center with size (not Shaq).

    Wait a year or two and you have a championship team.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla


    also, the thing that irked me the most about CWebb, GP, and Rashad was when they were doing the highlight plays. They had no professionalism whatsoever. GP and CWebb would be beat-boxin on the intro, Rashad couldn’t control them from talking over him so he’d join in, they never watched the highlights before they comment on them. so they would make absurd statements like “this is the greatest dunk ever” and it would be a simple one hander down the lane.

  • AestheticFlavor

    Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, and Ron Artest = This is the core of the Los Angeles Lakers. As long as these guys stay healthy, we have a GREAT chance at another title. Any extra help is ALWAYS a good thing… T-Mac, welcome to the Lakers’ bench!

  • arisloco

    I really wish LA gets T-Mac… If this happens, I would probably be a fan of LA (if not because of TMAC) now. I still feel that Mac has something left in the tank, he just needs to have somebody to take most of the scoring load from him. Or better yet, he would prolly accept the role of a 6th or 7th guy off the bench such as LO.

    Please LA, spare TMAC’s career.lol

  • tracy mcgrady

    why cant Lebron, Bosh, And T-mac cant work in the same team. You are looking at Lebron in his prime, a talented PF in bosh, and a very skilled veteran in T-Mac….People remember T-mac hasn’t taken a break like the on hes having now sense his Surgery. Meaning there is a 50/50 chance he can return as old T-mac Or Just that guy who never got back on his feet….Similar scenario (amare Stoudemire) A few years ago He came back and Kidd still has his game (not that explosive) im The knicks ill Go for it add an AVG point guard David Lee at the 5 and al harrington of the bench I THINK WE HAVE PROBLEM!

  • http://kapatid7799@yahoo.com bucks fan

    wow this would actualy b perfect for the lakers.

    with kobe injuries TMAC would be perfect to back kobe up. they dont need to be playing 35min a night, whch these 2 studs need, getin more rest for the playoffs. and dFish gettin old, Ai would be perfect to back up the PG position. Ai is a PG but not a tru PG, wich wil fit perfect with the laker triangle.

    i aint so worried bout all them talks of LBJ,wade,bosh. laker lineup can equal any team (kobe,pau,artest,lamar, bynume hasnt even peaked yet and he is way beter at the C then bosh, amar)