Tracy McGrady announces retirement from NBA
Former Raptor, Magic, Rockets, Knicks, Hawks, and Spurs forward Tracy McGrady announces his retirement from the NBA.
McGrady will go down as a cult NBA icon after a dominant stretch in the early 2000s lead to an injury-plagued prime that found him constantly losing in the first round with Houston. Eventually, he came to an awkward end with the Rockets and was traded to New York. After a stint with Atlanta, McGrady spent a season in the Chinese CBA, before joining the Spurs for their playoff run last year and serving as victory cigar for the Western Conference champions.
McGrady finishes with career averages of 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.2 steals and just under one block per game.
McGrady entered the league as one of the most explosive and athletic players in the league, including this peformance in the 2000 dunk contest.
In August 2000, he signed with the Orlando Magic in a sign-and-trade deal, in what was supposed to be a superstar team with the addition of Grant Hill. But Hill's injuries left McGrady trying to carry an underwhelming roster on his shoulders, leading to many spectacular seasons, but disappointing results and the wear and tear that might have lead to his own injury problems later.
In 2003, widely considered his best season, McGrady averaged 32.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists on 45.7 percent shooting from the field and 38.6 percent from the arc. His 30.3 PER that season ranks 16th all-time and the seventh highest since 2000.
He was traded to the Rockets in 2004 and along with the acquisition of Yao Ming, was expected to make Houston into a title contender.
But injuries and constant struggles in the playoffs lead to a devastating series of first-round exits. Most notably, after Game 7 of a 2007 loss to the Utah Jazz, McGrady broke down in the postgame press conference, saying the loss was "on me."
In 2009, McGrady announced on his website that he would undergo microfracture surgery and miss the remainder of the season. One problem: He hadn't talked about it with Houston. That would lead to his eventual trade to New York and the slow downslide of his career. This past season marked the first time McGrady made the second round of the playoffs as a member of the active roster and healthy.
McGrady goes down as one of the most exciting and perhaps underrated players of the 2000s, thanks to his reputation for being unable to get out of the first round, and occassional attitude issues. His limitations and behavior are certainly part of the tale, but in his prime, there were few, if any better.
Long live T-Mac.
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