Ending a 16 year career, Tracy McGrady finally decided that it was time to retire from his NBA career, hanging up his shoes and walking away from the game he loves. T-Mac leaves behind a career that would make the vast majority of professional basketball players jealous, yet his legacy was always lacking one key piece. A championship.
One of the highest paid players in the history of the game, Tracy McGrady had $162,978,278 in career earnings according to thetriangleoffense.net. They concluded that he was overpaid, and perhaps at time he was, however there is no questioning that McGrady was a superstar for much of his career.
When looking at his career, it is easy to become perplexed by the numbers produced when compared with the infamous postseason failures. Before last season when he was with the San Antonio Spurs, Tracy McGrady had never previously advanced past the opening round of the playoffs.
How could that be true of a man who consistently made All-Star games, he was selected to six over his career, and scored as easily as T-Mac did. Twice he led the league in scoring and made seven All-NBA teams while finishing in the top ten of MVP voting six times (thank you to Andrew Unterberger for the stats.)
Although he once was in the conversation of best player in the NBA early in the 2000s, McGrady never fully became elite because of his playoff failures. Although his running mates, Yao Ming in Houston and Grant Hill in Orlando, were never healthy enough to help him shake the playoff monkey from his back, the great players are expected to rise to the occasion. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James surely could have won at least a series with the sub-par cast surrounding McGrady throughout his career.
Finishing his NBA career without a title is certainly disappointing to McGrady, who was the ninth overall pick in the 1997 draft by Toronto. He finished his career averaging 19.8 points per game and putting up 18,381 total points. An illustrious scorer that showed he had the ability to carry a team, leading his Rockets to 22 straight regular season wins from 2007-2008. A resume that projects him as a border-line Hall of Famer.
When asked if this was the last we have seen Tracy McGrady on a professional basketball court, or if he would consider playing in China, T-Mac replied that he is “officially retired from the NBA. Door’s still open.”
Tracy McGrady leaves behind a mixed legacy as he retires from the NBA. He experienced a great deal of regular season success, posting huge stat lines regularly. However the lack of titles keeps him from the conversation as one of the best in recent memory. A border-line Hall of Famer, T-Mac will have to wait and see if he did enough to achieve basketball immortality.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express