After 16 seasons Tracy McGrady the seven time NBA all-star announced on August 27, 2013 on ESPN’S First Take that he would be retiring from the NBA at the age of 34.
McGrady was drafted straight out of high school from Mt. Zion Christian Academy as the No.9 pick in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors and posted career averages of 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assist a game. After playing three seasons in Toronto McGrady played a majority of his career for the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets: the last three seasons of his career he assumed the journeyman role-playing for the Knicks, Pistons, Hawks and finally the Spurs. After signing with the Spurs in April, in hopes of getting one last shot at a NBA title McGrady spent the majority of the post season in warm ups and only saw game action during blowouts.
In his prime was among the league’s elite earning seven all-NBA team selections (two first team selections) and one of the premiere shooting guards in the NBA, winning two consecutive scoring titles in both 2003 and 2004. Despite his individual success T-Mac simply couldn’t defeat his post season demons failing to advance beyond the first round except in 2009 with the Rockets and 2013 with the Spurs and on both occasions made minimal contributions to the team.
During game six of the 2013 NBA finals with 20 seconds remaining T-Mac was moments away from achieving his ultimate goal, his dream, his professional sanctuary of winning an NBA championship, something that eluded him during his 16 year journey in the NBA. Unfortunately the improbable happened… following a LeBron James missed three-point attempt Chris Bosh would secure an offensive rebound and dish the ball to Jesus Shuttlesworth himself Ray Allen would hit a game tying three pointer at the buzzer sending the Heat into overtime and the rest is history. The Heat would go on to take game six and seven clinching a second consecutive NBA title. The days of McGrady being on top of the basketball world seemed like a distant memory when our last image of T-Mac on an NBA court was him watching the confetti fall down on the American Airlines Arena as the Heat celebrated being on the top of Mt. Olympus once again.
Despite this painful ending McGrady on First Take said “”I’m leaving on good terms…It’s been 16 years playing the game I love. I’ve had a great run, but it’s time for it to come to an end.” McGrady did however leave the door open for the possibility of playing overseas in China but is sure his playing days in the NBA have come to a close.