One of the best players of one of the NBA’s darkest eras is finally calling it quits.
Tracy McGrady was without question one of the premier stars of the league at the beginning of the millennium. The trouble was, it was an era of stodgy play, declining television ratings and at least one brawl that spilled into the stands in Detroit. Those who didn’t watch McGrady in his prime — and there are a lot of them — will look at a seven-time All-Star who never got his team out of the first round of the playoffs and judge him as a vessel of empty statistics.
McGrady announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday while leaving open the door to playing overseas, sparking an instant debate on social media as to whether the two-time scoring champ deserved to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He didn’t address that topic on ESPN’s First Take, simply taking the opportunity to say his days as an NBA player are over.
“It’s been 16 years playing the game I love,” McGrady said. “I’ve had a great run, but it’s time for it to come to an end.”
McGrady, 34, averaged 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game over 16 seasons. From 2000-01 to 2006-07, he averaged at least 24 points per game, including league-leading averages of 32.1 and 28.0 points per game in 2002-03 and 2003-04, respectively.
McGrady never advanced past the first round of the playoffs as a star. He reached the Finals this spring with the Spurs, but he played a total of 31 minutes — all in the playoffs — and did not score a point for runner-up San Antonio.
Photo via Facebook/Tracy McGrady
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