Originally written on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 11/14/14
6a00d83451af4b69e201310f53e44a970c-800wi
   Six scoring titles. 18 all-star games. 14 All-NBA teams. Zero rings. These are the numbers for two great players of the last 20 years who retired within a week of one another. Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady. The Answer vs. T-Mac. So, you have to ask, who had the better career?     The debate isn’t that close actually, it’s Iverson. His 2001 season alone exceeds any of McGrady’s individual accolades. He won MVP and the scoring title in ’01, and no one has done that since. He carried a Sixers team to the Finals, where HE, not his team, was able to steal a game against a hugely superior Lakers team. If basketball had pound-for-pound rankings like boxing, AI would have been number one during his whole prime. Even while Shaq and Kobe were winning titles with ease, or while Tim Duncan was quietly winning MVPs and rings himself in San Antonio, Iverson would consistently be referred to as the NBA’s marquee player.     Never had the NBA feared a 6’0″, 165-pound guard before Iverson. You bet swagger had something to do with it. Sure, Jordan and Magic were cool enough to bring the house down every night, but swag was never more obvious before than with Iverson. Covered in tattoos, with a headband, arm sleeve and finger bands to go with, he created the NBA-rap culture that has defined the league from a youth point of view.     But let’s take a look at McGrady anyway. An no, not the T-Mac that played for the Spurs last season. Known in Toronto as a project and also Vince Carter’s cousin, McGrady needed the change of scenery in Orlando to blossom. On mediocre Magic teams in 2003 and 2004, he won back-to-back scoring titles, including an impressive 32.1 in ’03.      The next and last happy chapter of McGrady’s career was in Houston. As the centerpiece of a trade for Stevie “Franchise” Francis, McGrady and Yao Ming teamed up to form a solid duo for the Rockets. These two had potential , but they never caught the needed breaks to make a playoff run. Injuries to both star players derailed Houston for years to the likes of the Spurs, Mavs and Suns. After bouncing around from New York to Detroit to Atlanta and then China, McGrady saw the Spurs as a chance to get that elusive ring. But, you know, then Ray Allen did his thing.     I look at McGrady’s career as an unlucky one. Injuries derailed the latter half of his career and he never really got the chance to win a ring while in his prime. But even if you look at his prime in a vacuum, would you have taken 2001-2007 T-Mac over Kobe from the same time? No. And would you take T-Mac over today’s best small forwards in LeBron, Durant and Melo? I don’t think so. But hey, I’d take him over his cousin Vince any day.    Now let’s close with Iverson. There have only been four better shooting guards in NBA history. Jordan, Kobe, West and Wade. That’s it. We’ll remember his baggy Sixers uniform, his uncanny ability to beat bigger men at their own game and most infamously, this speech. But remember this too: We will never see another Allen Iverson. Just ask MJ.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jon Jones wanted for questioning in hit and run

Pitcher throws perfect game with 23 strikeouts, still loses

Will LaMarcus Aldridge leave the Portland Trailblazers?

Wizards sweep listless Raptors

Clippers defeat Spurs, even series at 2-2

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

JR Smith 'nervous as hell' about possible suspension

Dana White: No more WWE for Ronda Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

WATCH: Former NBA’er Darko Milicic is enjoying life

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.