While he has shined under the bright lights of the hardwood courts of the NBA, Houston Rockets superstar guard Tracy McGrady would like his appearances in a Sarasota, Florida court to remain quiet.
McGrady is embroiled in a dispute with a Bradenton woman over how much child support he should pay for a young girl he fathered out of wedlock. Pearl Vega is seeking child support payments that are more comparable with McGrady's salary, which totaled $21.6 million last season, for her young daughter who was born in November 2005.
Attorneys for McGrady have said that the child support request is simply about Vega wanting to live an exorbitant lifestyle rather than meeting the "reasonable needs" of a young child. According to a financial affidavit filed by the McGrady camp during this child support dispute, Vega made $32,971 last year.
While the Tracy McGrady child support dispute has yet to be settled, both sides have requested that the court proceedings remain private. Specifically, attorneys for McGrady and Vega have asked that this Florida child support trial be kept secret and that the court records be sealed. McGrady's attorneys made the request to close the courtroom in this child support case after a reporter from the Herald Tribune entered to watch the opening testimony.
McGrady's attorney, Mark Sessums, specifically said that revealing the case details could harm trade secrets in the NBA star's endorsement deals in addition to disrupting the privacy of the young girl, who is obviously unnamed in the Herald Tribune story detailing the dispute. McGrady's attorneys have also expressed concern that this child support case could become a "media circus," especially considering that McGrady is one of the top players in the NBA.
Circuit Judge Donna Berlin has stopped the Tracy McGrady child support trial for the meantime and will first have to decide whether or not to keep the courtroom and case files closed.
The 28-year-old McGrady has a daughter and son with his wife CleRenda, whom he married in September after dating for 10 years.
McGrady entered the NBA straight out of high school in 1997. After being drafted by the Toronto Raptors and playing three seasons in Canada, McGrady signed as a free agent with the Orlando Magic, where his career blossomed. McGrady was traded to the Rockets in 2004 and has led the NBA in scoring twice in his career.
While McGrady has been known for his individual accomplishments, the six-time All-Star has been questioned as being able to take his teams to the next level. McGrady has never gotten out of the first round of the playoffs in his career, even though the Rockets' chances of doing so next season are looking better with several key free agent acquisitions this summer, including Argentine forward Luis Scola.