At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, there was a panel moderated by Malcolm Gladwell that focused on his 10,000 hours theory.
The panel featured Jeff Van Gundy and Daryl Morey and they talked about the concept of 'natural talent' and the need to still cultivate it with practice.
“Tracy McGrady was 1,000 hours of practice,” Van Gundy said to laughter from the audience. “He should be a Hall of Fame player. His talent was other-worldly. He was given a great leg up in the race against other players. He’s as close as I’ve ever seen to someone with a perfect body and a good mind.”
“McGrady was the most gifted player I’ve ever had on the roster," said Morey. "I do think [his talent] got in the way of Tracy’s development. Much of the game was so, so easy — and you see this in the AAU level, where they have freakishly talented players. When it’s that easy to dominate at that young age, because of your physical tools — his wing span was freakish, his size was enormous, his IQ. But my sense was that all of that did get in the way of Tracy reaching his highest heights.”
Poor T-Mac. But it wasn’t over, yet. Van Gundy came back to McGrady later: “I like a lot of things about Tracy McGrady. I just wish I could have changed his practice habits and his mentality.”