Tracy McGrady enters the Hall of Fame this week after a career that shined bright but petered out too soon. Here are five moments that define his career.
For most of the 2000s, Tracy McGrady was a force to be reckoned with. When he waltzed up the floor and began sizing up a defense, there was really no chance.
In McGrady’s career, he made seven All-Star Games (starting in all but one), he was a two-time NBA scoring champion and a two-time All-NBA First Team selection. For large swaths of time, McGrady carried his Orlando Magic or Houston Rockets teams, putting on devastating scoring onslaughts.
For those that did not watch McGrady, it might be hard to understand what the hubbub about McGrady is about. After all, the stain on his career is that he never made it out of the first round until he hitched a ride with the 2013 San Antonio Spurs. In the ringz culture, maybe that matters.
For those who watched McGrady, his Hall of Fame credentials are obvious. He was the best scorer in a league full of scorers like Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant. Those who lived through his career remember debating earnestly and fervently about who was the better player between McGrady and Bryant.
Without a doubt, McGrady was a dominant figure throughout the decade. Even if he did not experience the team success, McGrady is central to the NBA’s story throughout the 2000s. That makes him clearly a Hall-of-Famer.
If that does not, his seven-year prime from 2001-07 saw him average 26.9 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game and 5.4 assists per game. That is when he drew all the accolades and All-Star appearances. McGrady had a tremendous impact on the game through his scoring.
He had scoring battles with Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and a rookie LeBron James. He was a nightly highlight, almost guaranteeing he would score at least 20 points every night. Sometimes much, much more.
Every time he stepped onto the court something special could happen.
Even in a career full of special moments, these five moments stand out.