Tracy McGrady a.k.a T-Mac announced his retirement from the NBA this week, The seven time All-Star recently played for the San Antonio Spurs as a mop up player, but I am pretty sure that McGrady was grateful to see team success in a mop up duty role after failing to be apart of a quality team for many years in his career.
McGrady started his career in Toronto with his cousin Vince Carter, and then bolted back to his home town area (Orlando) via free agency.
When healthy McGrady was a force to be reckoned with. From the years 2000-2008 McGrady was arguably one of the best players in the NBA.
The What ifs in Orlando were always something to think about after seeing McGrady struggle with having to literally carry the franchise on his back.
What if Grant Hill stayed healthy? What if Tim Duncan would have come via free agency? What if T-Mac would have played with Dwight Howard? What if….What if……What if ? In Orlando McGrady played with Andrew Declerque, Drew Gooden, and the extras from the movie Sunset Park. Grant Hill’s ankles were too banged up, and Tim Duncan was pretty busy winning titles in San Antonio.
McGrady was a one man gang that needed all the help in the world, but never received it. During McGrady’s tenure in Orlando he failed to get them past the first round of the playoffs, and was shipped to the Houston Rockets for Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley.
When McGrady arrived in Houston he paired with the 7’6 Yao Ming, and the duo appeared to be next in line to compete with the likes of Kobe, Shaq, and Duncan in the then brutal Western Conference. After McGrady’s first full season in Houston his health was never the same. McGrady suffered from knee and back injuries that would eventually derail his career. In this time frame in Houston there were many memorable moments as it was in Orlando, but nothing translated team success.
McGrady had all of the individual accolades minus winning the MVP. McGrady had, 7 All-Star appearances, 2 scoring titles, 7 All-NBA Team selections, and the Most Improved Player Award.
The only thing that was/is missing from McGrady’s career is team success, and a championship.
After McGrady’s 2008 season I decided to have selective amnesia. when talking about McGrady’s career. At the time McGrady was dealing with knee (microfracture) and back issues. It was great to see him come back from injury, but as a basketball fan it is hard to see a former perennial All-Star go out the way that McGrady did.
I wish things would have ended better for T-Mac, but nobody can take away what he has accomplished on the court. I’m no expert, but I see McGrady making it to the Hall of Fame someday. He may not be first-ballot, but the voters should give him the nod.
Here are a few vintage T-Mac highlights throughout his career.