Tracy McGrady announced his retirement from the National Basketball Association (NBA) yesterday after sixteen seasons in the league. Although he feels that it is time to leave the NBA, the seven-time All-Star says he would be open to opportunities to play in China.
McGrady is known for his incredible finesse, size, and strength. According to Yahoo! Sports, he had “the best statistical season an NBA player would produce in between the Michael Jordan and LeBron James eras.” McGrady had gone straight into the NBA out of high school, and was the league’s ninth draft pick at the time.
Tracy McGrady’s most notable performance as a player was during the early 2000s with Florida’s Orlando Magic, although a lack of talent on the team hindered its playoff success. He later played for the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs, but his knee and back injuries kept him from reaching what many thought was his full potential as a player.
Some argue that McGrady did not reach a Hall of Fame level of success. The player had a short prime and a deficient post-season career, both of which were heavily influenced by his injuries. Despite this, however, Israel Gutierrez from ESPN.com thinks that McGrady has a good chance of being inducted - “he has had a more impressive NBA career than a handful of Hall of Famers,” he said.
Though McGrady says he feels like he still has a lot left to give, the married father of four is “happy about what’s to come” and believes that it is time for him to walk away from the league. When asked whether he would consider playing in the Chinese Basketball Association, McGrady says the door is still open for China – “I have a big brand there, so who knows what will happen,” he said. McGrady had played with the Qingdao Eagles during 2012 before joining the San Antonio Spurs for his last season with the NBA.
Many organizations and NBA stars tweeted congratulations and well-wishes to McGrady. “Just watching you as a kid helped me get to where I am today! Good luck in the future,” Kevin Durant said. Earvin Magic Johnson wished McGrady a “Happy Retirement to one of the greatest scorers in NBA History.”
As far as the NBA goes, McGrady says he is officially done - “It’s been 16 years playing the game I love … it’s come to an end,” he said.