Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Tracy McGrady: The Superstar that Was

It has been a sad week for NBA fans. Last week, Allen Iverson announced that he would be retiring from the NBA. It was also announced by Tracy McGrady that he too would be retiring from basketball. Tracy McGrady (T-Mac) was one of the most decorated scorers when he was in his prime and healthy. Whichever team he was on, he was always one of the leaders and would make the team better. Let’s take a look back at his amazing career.

McGrady was drafted 9th by the Toronto Raptors in 1997. His first year there, straight out of high school, was a little shaky. But after a few seasons, the rise of Tracy McGrady began. He and his cousin, Vince Carter, were the face of the franchise at the time. But even though McGrady was talented, Vince was still the man in T.O. In Tracy’s final year in Toronto, they made the playoffs. Unfortunately they were swept.  Tracy had a solid three years in Toronto, but he felt it was time to move on to bigger and better things.  And he did.

In 2000, McGrady became a member of the Orlando Magic. He was from Florida, so he felt comfortable in a Magic uniform. Grant Hill was already in Orlando, and many people felt that the future was bright in FL. Unfortunately Hill only played a handful of games in Tracy’s first season, though that didn’t stop T-Mac. He was an all-star that year and won the Most Improved Player award. The following season looked bright for Orlando, but that would all depend on the health of Hill, who was going through some injury-ridden years. As seasons passed, Tracy got better. It really did stung seeing Hill always injured, and had he managed to stay healthy, the two could’ve been amongst the best duos in the NBA.

After four years in Orlando,  McGrady was traded to the Houston Rockets. Houston was already a solid team, so it was a good fit. He had the chance to play alongside Yao Ming, one of the best centers at the time. And in their first year together, boy was it a good one. McGrady and Yao were one of the best duo’s in the NBA. And then, there was that one game.

The game that no one will ever forget. The “13 in 33” game. The Rockets were playing the Spurs, and it looked like the Spurs were going to just dominate the Rockets towards the end of the game. Pretty much everyone felt that way, except Tracy. He did something that no one will forget. He scored 13 points in 33 seconds. Every time down the court, they just gave the ball to Tracy and he completely took over. The Rockets won the game, 81-80. It was one of the best scoring displays we’ve seen in NBA history. No one will ever forget it.

The next year, Tracy had another defining moment. In a playoff game against the Mavericks, he dunked over Shawn Bradley. It was one of the best dunks of the year. Let’s not forget that Tracy was 6’8 and Bradley was 7’6. Some of Tracy’s best seasons were in a Rockets uniform. They were always a play-off team, but they could never get past the second round. Most of the time, it was because McGrady was injured.  It seemed that in the latter half of his career he was always hurt, and that really hurt his team’s progress.  If McGrady and Yao stayed healthy, I feel they could’ve brought a championship to Houston.

After his six years in Houston, Tracy’s career went in a serious decline.  He was switching from team to team every year; it even got to the point that he played in China.  He really didn’t deserve to always be injured – perhaps no one does. The guy was a special talent and could have been so much more.

It is very sad to see McGrady walk away from the game. He deserved to get a championship. I honestly feel that if McGrady was healthy throughout his career, he would’ve been one of the best in the NBA. Good luck in the future Tracy, the NBA will miss you.


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Main photo credit: Keith Allison via photopin cc


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