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Tracy McGrady Pities Kobe After Watching Lakers Struggle in Person

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 9:  Tracy McGrady #1 of the Houston Rockets holds the ball against Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 9, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistOctober 23, 2013

This is how low Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers have sunk: Tracy McGrady, a former star who hasn't had a relevant NBA impact since the 2007-08 season, is offering his sympathies via Twitter.

"T-Mac" caught the Lakers game against the Utah Jazz Oct. 22 and had this to say about it:

The Lakers won that game by 14 points, by the way. Jordan Farmar and (if you can believe this) Wesley Johnson both looked pretty good too. What would he have said if they'd lost?

McGrady has been increasing his media presence lately, and this feels a bit like another effort to that end. He's been popping up on NBA TV more and more in recent weeks, and he caused an earlier stir when he admitted he'd considered a drastic solution to the knee troubles that ended his career:

So maybe T-Mac is just looking to soak up a little spotlight now that his playing days are over. Weighing in on the Lakers is always a good way to catch a little shine.

But here's the thing: McGrady has always seemed like a pretty sincere dude. And from a broader perspective, he's probably justified in feeling sorry for what Bryant is going to endure this year.

Put aside the insignificant fact that the Lakers knocked off the tanking Jazz in a meaningless preseason game, and think about how difficult Kobe's season is going to be. At 35, he'll be coming off an injury that typically ends careers for players much younger than him. Not only that, but he'll also return to a roster that added Chris Kaman and Nick Young to replace Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace.

Steve Nash and Pau Gasol are both a year older, Mike D'Antoni has yet to prove he knows what he's doing and almost nobody sees the playoffs as a realistic possibility.

For the ultra-competitive Bryant, the 2013-14 season is going to be hell.

I'm guessing both T-Mac and Kobe would much prefer to go back to the good old days, when hair was plentiful and there was a legitimate debate about which multi-skilled superstar was the league's most versatile threat.

Thanks for reminding us that those days are over, Tracy. What a downer.

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