Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/31/13
Tracy McGrady was like a fancy, first-class salon.  I say that becasue he played with beauty, he played with style, and he did it extraordinarily well.  T-Mac was the type of superstar young fans loved to watch.  He was so smooth on the court and he helped give basketball a different identity in the early 2000s. T-Mac was my favorite player in his Orlando days.  I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.  I didn’t have a thorough understanding of basketball just yet.  However, T-Mac’s flash and sass on the court really caught my eye. I bought his jersey and a few different pairs of his shoes.  The blue on black T-Mac 2’s are some of my all-time favorite sneakers.  I would lace up in my living room and play as McGrady with an imaginary ball.  I honestly would spend hours running around as if I were playing a real NBA game.  I’m not exactly sure how I did it, but I promise I’m not making this up. Courtesy of nbafanstore.net I’ll bet the young T-Mac attracted fans that weren’t even into basketball.  I’ll bet McGrady was the reason some kids took a liking to basketball.  If you went to one of his games, you’d have seen it was nothing like watching an ordinary NBA game.  In fact, McGrady was the game.  Forget about watching each and every play.  Just keep your eye on McGrady the whole time and you were sure to be fascinated. The way he pulled up and rose for a jumper was so entertaining.  He was like a machine that couldn’t be stopped.  Nobody needed to hint that McGrady was getting the ball every possession.  His lone presence on the court screamed, “just give me the ball and I’ll get the job done.”  He would get the job done all right, even if it was mission impossible (McGrady scores 13 points in 35 seconds). McGrady averaged 26 points per game from 2000-2008.  The major concern that came up in Tracy’s career was injuries.  2005 was a turning point in McGrady’s potential Hall-of-Fame career, despite continuing to average over 24 points a couple more years.  McGrady eventually broke down from all the troubles he had in his knees, back, and other areas. In the early-to-mid 2000s, he and Kobe Bryant were two very comparable players.  Both were virtually unguardable.  Surprisingly enough, McGrady may have had the athletic edge on Kobe.  His length also was a tool he could utilize more than Bryant could.  He was the size of a forward but had no problem playing either guard position. McGrady was arguably one of the most entertaining players of the century to watch.  It’s upsetting T-Mac’s career didn’t live up to its greatest potential.  But it’s a lot easier said than done, as injuries are a norm for athletes.  Some players can tolerate it better than others. In conclusion, NBA fans around the country should have tremendous respect for the impact this seven-time All-Star made on the game.   Follow me on Twitter @ZTennen11
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