"I know I have to keep up my image," McGrady says, standing in the kitchen of his Sugar Land house, picking through a bag of sandwiches. "It's all about how you handle the situation. Last year I led the league in scoring. If I had been on a bad team and had a bad year statistically, then you would have seen my image collapse. I had to lead the league."
He pulls a hamburger in a clear plastic container out of the sack. Pausing a moment, as if to consider his nutritionist's advice, he pops open the container and takes a bite. All over the house there are pictures of his one-year-old daughter--curly hair, beautiful brown eyes and a cupid's bow of a mouth. "You got kids?" McGrady asks his visitor, who replies that his five-year-old is performing in a school show later that week.
"I can't wait for that," McGrady says, "for Layla to begin doing that stuff. To go to see her in shows, so I can go do all that with her. I love it. I love being her dad."
Never mind that this kitchen is as big as many houses or that an indoor basketball court is down the hall or that his private jet is parked a few miles away. For a moment, anyway, he's just a dad, a guy eating a hamburger who says he wants to do his job better, a guy who says he wants us to appreciate him more. Is it possible he's more like us than we think? ?