“In hindsight, looking back, obviously I wish I had stayed in Toronto,” McGrady was saying in a recent telephone interview from his home in the Houston area. “There's no doubt we could have contended for a championship. I think about that often. But if ‘if' was a fifth, you know?”
The idea for their contention hinges principally on McGrady reaching his 2003-levels of MVP-worthy play while cousin Vince Carter also established himself as he player he was in New Jersey.
Would that have been enough, with some cap room and the attraction of a contender? Considering they were going up against Duncan's Spurs and the Kobe-Shaq Lakers, I don't like their chances. But could they have made the Finals? Over Allen Iverson's Crazy Usage Show and considering the Nets were elite before Carter showed up but never dominant? Yeah, you have to like their chances to win the East.
Too late now, but at least McGrady's not so proud as to resist being honest about what happened.