Tracy McGrady is one of the greatest guards to step foot on an NBA floor. For anyone who watched TMac in his prime, there’s no denying his skill set or tenacity on the court. He had arguably the smoothest game ever seen and every jumper was lethal in nature.
McGrady could have been a top-10 player of all time. His talent was at that level. An easy example to bring up would be when he scored 13 points in just 33 seconds of play. TMac was genuinely in a tier of his own. Although he came up in one of the greatest eras for shooting guards, headlined by players like Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade.
Unfortunately, Tracy was plagued by the biggest career killer in the NBA: injuries. Back, knee, and shoulder injuries destroyed his playing career and made it near impossible for him to stay healthy for long stretches of time.
Tracy McGrady regards Yao Ming as his greatest teammate
Tracy McGrady has played for a plethora of teams over his 16-year career in the NBA. He was a solid franchise centerpiece for his first few franchises but quickly turned into a journeyman in the twilight years of his career.
The Toronto Raptors selected Tracy McGrady with the ninth overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. He had an uneventful rookie campaign due to his head coach refusing to play him more than 13 minutes a game. Things, however, took a turn for the better when the Raps drafted McGrady’s first superstar teammate and cousin, Vince Carter.
However, McGrady soon felt overshadowed by Carter and decided to sign with the Orlando Magic in 2004. Here he was supposed to team up with the great Grant Hill, but Hill was often injured and only ended up playing 47 games for the Magic.
The Magic also ended up trading Tracy in 2000, to the Houston Rockets. Here he entered the prime of his career and even made a few postseason runs alongside ‘Big China’ otherwise known as Yao Ming. Ming was one of the greatest centers the NBA has seen and he is also who McGrady considers his greatest teammate.
“My talent level was definitely up with the great players that have played this game. I didn’t play with Shaq. I didn’t play with no LeBrons. Yao [Ming] was my best teammate and we couldn’t stay healthy.”
Tracy McGrady on his talent level
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) July 30, 2023
Recently talking on a podcast, Tracy reflected on his career and his standing in the overall greatest shooting guard debate. It’s obvious he feels that even with his injuries, if he had more help during his career he could have won a ring.
McGrady says, “I didn’t play with Shaq. I didn’t play with no LeBrons. Like you know what I’m saying? Like Yao was my best teammate and we couldn’t stay healthy, right? So I’ve never played on a championship team.”
Tracy had a talent for the game of basketball like no one else.“Regardless of what and how anybody else feels, when you talk about the talent, yeah, it undoubtedly that my talent level was definitely top with, you know, the great players that have played this game.”