After 15 seasons in the NBA, Tracy McGrady announced his retirement live on ESPN's First Take, just two months after his first and only appearance in the NBA Finals. Finishing with career averages of 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, McGrady was one of the premier scorers in the NBA before his career was derailed by injury.
McGrady came into the league with the Toronto Raptors, but it wasn't until he arrived in Orlando in 2000 that the 6'8 guard fully showcased his skills. McGrady could shoot, pass and handle the ball, all while displaying nearly unparalleled power and grace above the rim. At his peak, he battled Kobe Bryant as the NBA's best perimeter player.
After splitting nine seasons between the Orlando Magic and the Houston Rockets, McGrady bounced between the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, even having a short stint in the Chinese Basketball Association before finally landing with the San Antonio Spurs at the end of last season. The once-prolific scorer was averaging less than 10 points per game the final five seasons of his career, and played in just two games during the Spurs' run to the NBA Finals.
Despite the frustrating end to his career, McGrady graced us with a decade's worth of highlights and incredible performances that included one of the more remarkable seasons an NBA player has ever enjoyed.
With McGrady deciding to finally and officially retire from the NBA, we look back at his greatest moments that helped define everything that made T-Mac so fun to watch.
Career-high 62 points vs. Wizards
McGrady enjoyed many great games, but March 10, 2004 was certainly one of his very best. T-Mac put up a career-high 62 points against the Washington Wizards. going 20-of-37 from the floor and picking up 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Tracy McGrady will posterize you with no hesitation
McGrady's greatest skill was his ability to put any and all players in danger of ending up on a poster in the most compromising of positions. The ultimate Tracy McGrady dunk came in the 2005 playoffs, when he launched himself up and over Shawn Bradley, although that is far from the only notable dunk highlight of his career.
McGrady vs. Kobe
When Tracy McGrady caught fire after heading to the Magic, T-Mac vs. Kobe Bryant became of the NBA's hottest debates. Injuries derailed McGrady's run at prolonged dominance, but that doesn't mean there weren't some epic battles between two of the very best the NBA had to offer during the 2000s.
Both Kobe and T-Mac have stated the other was the toughest player they had to guard in their career. It's easy to see why when you look at some of their 1-on-1 matchups:
T-Mac's self alley-oop for the monster dunk in NBA All-Star game
McGrady was never one to shy away from theatrics and certainly put on a some dazzling shows during his seven appearances in the All-Star Game. None can come close to when T-Mac threw himself an alley-oop pass off the backboard and slammed it home.
Tracy McGrady vs. Dirk Nowitzki
Kobe may have enjoyed some great 1-on-1 matchups over the years with McGrady, but it was a game against Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks that truly stands out as of the better battles between two players in their prime.
McGrady put up 48 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in a loss to Dallas in 2005, doing everything he could to combat a brilliant 52-point performance by Nowitzki. T-Mac hit six three-pointers, but Nowitzki's 22 free throw attempts (compared to seven for McGrady) proved too much to overcome for the Rockets.
McGrady scores 13 points in 35 seconds against Spurs
With the Rockets trailing by six points with just 35 seconds remaining, McGrady enjoyed one of the pinnacle moments of his career. Each successive three pointer, four in all, was more difficult and impressive than the last. It all culminated in this shot for the win with just 1.7 seconds remaining.
McGrady's incredible 2002-2003 season
McGrady had a lot of great years, but none topped his 2002-03 performance. Somehow, McGrady didn't win the NBA Most Valuable Player that season, even though he averaged 32.1 points, 5.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game while carrying an underwhelming Orlando Magic squad to the postseason. The Magic would exit in the first round after taking a 3-1 lead over the Detroit Pistons, but there's little doubt as to why they were there in the first place.
Tim Duncan, the best player on the best team, would ultimately win the award, with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett finishing higher than McGrady in the voting. Here are highlights from one game in that season.