01 April 2010
You could say Marcus Camby was in a New York state of mind.
Long after helping Portland clinch a playoff spot out West by posting 9 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, Camby left the Blazers locker room only to come back in a minute later.
He forgot something: two large plastic bags full of home and away New York Knicks jerseys.
“There they are,” Camby mumbled to himself.
Just down the hall, a makeshift Knicks reunion of sorts took place with Camby, New York assistant coach Herb Williams, Allen Houston and former Knick and Blazer Chris Dudley talking about their glory days in New York. Back then Camby helped New York make a run to the 1999 NBA Finals and from 1998-2002, averaging 10.2 points and 8.9 rebounds with 1.91 blocks per game.
While there are already plenty of “Camby back to New York” theories floating around and will only increase as the offseason arrives for the free agent center, Tracy McGrady remembers those days before Camby even landed in New York.
“Him and Damon Stoudamire took me under their wing,” McGrady recalled of “M.C.” during their days with the Toronto Raptors.
It was the 1997-98 season. Camby was 23 and in his second year in the league. T-Mac was an 18 year old rookie.
“They groomed me and showed me the ropes. I just sat back and learned from those guys. I enjoyed my time with them. I learned how to carry myself and how to be pro – come in early and stay late and how to handle the media. Just how to handle yourself away from the court. He’s (Camby) not real vocal guy. He just goes about his work. He leads by example that way and doesn’t really say too much. He’s a winner. He gets the job done.”
For McGrady, it’s been the tale of two seasons. From Houston to New York, McGrady is still searching for his place in this league coming back from microfracture surgery. And even now at 30 years old – and fresh off a 2 point outing against Portland - the former All-Star continues to feel the aches and pains that come with the job.
“I don’t feel that old. Some days I feel like I’m young. We all go through them,” McGrady said of the injuries along the way.
“Some guys in this league are just a lot more fortunate than others. It’s a long brutal season to put your body through.”