What if he never left the team that drafted him, the Toronto Raptors, and his cousin Vince Carter for the Orlando Magic?
What if Orlando teammate Grant Hill stayed healthy and played more than 46 games with him in four years?
What if he didn't spend most of his prime with the Houston Rockets injured and had the right guys around him?
That's why when it was announced over the weekend that he would be part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2017, it came as the ultimate vindication for T-Mac.
“It doesn’t get any better than this,” he was quoted by NBA.com. “You’re talking about going into a class of greatness. Legendary. This is forever. It doesn’t matter how many playoff games you lost. What you didn’t accomplish. None of that matters. It’s what I did do. What I did accomplish over my career. To be honored with this prestigious award is phenomenal.”
McGrady is living proof that ability can only get you so far in this sport. Plagued by all sorts of misfortune, the athletic forward's career is often reduced to a big question mark by his critics.
When things were going his way, though, T-Mac made basketball look effortless.
And because a 10-item highlight reel isn't enough to honor the generational talent that he was, we zoom in on McGrady's brightest moments in the NBA.
Kobe Bryant once called T-Mac the toughest guy he has ever played against. If only the two had more duels, particularly in the playoffs...
Before surgeries robbed him of his freakish athleticism, McGrady used to "suck the gravity right out of the building" and humiliate opponents.
Other than Kobe, T-Mac was an unstoppable offensive force in the 2000s (averaged at least 24 points in seven consecutive seasons).
Finally, it would be blasphemous to forget that he engineered the greatest comeback and clutch performance in NBA history.
You deserve it, T-Mac.