Just a couple of days after Allen Iverson officially retired from basketball, another former superstar walks away from the NBA for good. Tracy “T-Mac” McGrady has just announced that he’s finally calling it a career—in the NBA, at least.
T-Mac says that he’s still keeping his options open for playing pro-ball overseas, with a return to China with old bud and former Rockets teammate, Yao Ming, in the Chinese Basketball Association looking most feasible. But NBA basketball? "I'm happily announcing that it's over," says McGrady.
Check out his live announcement below:
In his heyday from 2001 to 2008, T-Mac was one of the most prolific and feared scorers in the NBA. With an insanely agile 6’8” foot frame and a lengthy wingspan, T-Mac easily beat defenders off the dribble, torched opponents from the perimeter, got shot blockers guessing in mid-air, and threw down a number of dunks with ferocity. Simply put, the man was unstoppable. And when he gets the rock and he’s hot: Ilista mo na!
Right, Shawn Bradley?
But T-Mac's unquestionable talent and lethal scoring ability always succumbed to the high-flyer's biggest nemeses: injuries and the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
T-Mac battled several ankle, knee, back, and shoulder injuries for almost half of his NBA career—sapping his athleticism little by little. The bulk of it we saw in Houston, where he suffered a nagging back injury that cost him a huge chunk of games and three surgeries.
But no injury could have been more painful than what T-Mac endured every first round of the NBA Playoffs. For most of his NBA career, T-Mac's stellar play secured his team a spot in the playoffs—and nothing more. Despite putting up tons of points and filling the early years of YouTube with "Hayip!"-inducing highlights, T-Mac never reached the second round as the main man. His critics went hard on him because of this, questioning if he really was basketball elite or just a Top 10 Plays list filler.
After missing out half of the 2008-2009 season and sitting out all but nine games of the 2009-2010 season due to injuries, he was traded to the New York Knicks. It was the beginning of the rough road leading to the end of his NBA career.
In the succeeding seasons, T-Mac’s role took a major dip. Once one of the most coveted NBA superstars, he became a super sub. He jumped from one team to another, giving them what his remaining talents could produce. Soon enough, and probaly to no one's surprise, T-Mac got parked at the end of an NBA bench. The next chapter of his career brought him to China, paying ball as an import.