Redline, RebuildEd, and PMT had Tracy McGrady on in the last week or so and I can NOT shake this story from T-Mac. Go back to the summer of 2000 and the NBA free agent frenzy. This was probably the first year that I can remember "this league" starting to become a thing. I literally don't even recall a single big free agent signing from the 90s. In 2000 the Orlando Magic were on the verge of inventing the super team via free agency. T-Mac was going home, Grant Hill was signing on the bottom line and Tim Duncan was allegedly going to follow.
Duncan had one little personal issue. A little something to make sure he'd fit with the culture of Orlando. He wanted to make sure that his family was allowed to travel with the team. Tim Duncan, a family man. The most boring super star who ever lived just wanted to make sure that the team would allow him to spend time with his wife. Doc Rivers...
That's it. No family, no Duncan. No super team. Grant Hill obviously was NEVER healthy again after signing and McGrady basically had to do everything on his own which was never quite good enough. An early 2000s team built around T-Mac and Duncan would've dominated the East. Think of the strong teams from that era; you had Jason Kidd's Nets going to back to back Finals appearances, you had the Pistons who were mean and tried to make every game a rock fight, Shaq and D-Wade teamed up for a Championship in 2006. Hard to imagine a team built around one of the games all-time great big men and one of the era's best scorers not being able to break through those teams and get a ring or two.
Duncan, probably doesn't lose sleep over it at all because he's covered in Championships, but it is definitely a sliding door moment for T-Mac. He never won a playoff series and it's all because Doc Rivers didn't want to have to make small talk on the plane with Tim Duncan's wife. Duncan is one of those guys where if you have a rule you change it to get him to sign. You give him the keys to the city. This was Antoine Walker chartering his boys to the nearest casino while on the road. This wasn't Gilbert Arenas pulling guns on a guy. This was Tim Duncan, one of the best to ever play the game, wanting to cuddle with his wife on the road. You let him do it and laugh about it later over champagne. Absolutely absurd. Rivers is on his way to the hall of fame as a coach, but I think the committee should make him wait a little longer just because this hardo rule was that stupid and cost everyone rings.