Like many fans, one of the players I feel for the most right now is Antonio McDyess, especially after reading his comments from after Game 6:
"I feel like I'm at the end of my career and it just ain't gonna happen," said McDyess, 32, who has a contract option to return. "Tonight, I accepted that I'm never gonna win. I felt this team was the one to get us there. We had all the chances in the world and we blew it. It seems like it's over for me now."
McDyess' option is worth roughly $6.3 million, and there's also the chance that Joe Dumars will try to extend him. That said, if he does decide to leave for another contender he deems closer to a title, I wouldn't fault him -- I don't think anyone else on the team takes losing quite as hard as he does.
After losing Game 7 of the NBA Finals in 2005, McDyess didn't talk about it for months. Following a loss in Game 5 of last year's second-round series to the Cavs, he was so distraught that he stayed on the bench long after his teammates went to the locker room and eventually left the arena without even taking off his uniform. After getting ejected in Game 5 this year, he was so stressed out watching the game from the locker room that he left the arena in the third quarter and went home:
He went to his house. He couldn't turn on the TV. He paced up and down his street, with his fiancée and friends sending him updates on his cell phone.
"Me sitting there pulling my hair, I'm walking up and down the street," he said. "I didn't want to see it, so I told them don't give me any kind of updates on what's going on until after the game."
In this day and age, there are few players who give you the feeling they'd rather win than get paid, but McDyess is certainly one of them.