Tracy McGrady provided plenty of memorable moments during his four years in Orlando.
With T-Mac set to be inducted into the Magic Hall of Fame at Amway Center tonight, it’s an ideal time to reflect on his tenure with the Magic and debate our favorite moments, which we do below with YouTube videos of each.
McGrady joined the Magic in the summer of 2000 after playing second-fiddle to his cousin Vince Carter in Toronto. With a team to call his own, thanks in part to injuries to Grant Hill, McGrady blossomed into a superstar in Orlando.
In his first season in Orlando, at the age of 21, T-Mac averaged 26.8 points per game in the first of his four consecutive All-Star seasons while with the Magic. Having averaged 15.4 points per game during his final season in Toronto, McGrady’s increase in usage rate from one season to the next for a player who changed teams and used 20 percent of their team’s plays was at the time the largest since the NBA/ABA merger, according to Kevin Pelton of ESPN.
In each of his final two seasons in Orlando, McGrady led the league in scoring, averaging 32.1 points per game in 2002-2003 and 28.0 points in 2003-2004. McGrady’s average of 28.1 points per game while with the Magic remains the highest in franchise history. During that span, he also averaged 7.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
McGrady guided the Magic to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons with the team, but failed to advance past the first round (again, being without Grant Hill didn’t help).
During his four years in Orlando, McGrady became a fixture on highlight reels and generated some of the iconic performances and moments in franchise history.
Feel free to share your favorite T-Mac moment below. Members of OPP each picked and discussed some of theirs…
Mike Cali – McGrady and the 8th seeded Magic against the Pistons
“Yes, I know they lost the series. But McGrady put the team on his back, had the top-seeded Pistons on the brink of elimination and generated an excitement in the arena that hadn’t been felt since the mid-90s. The Magic, despite having a starting lineup that featured the likes of Jacque Vaughn, Gordan Giricek, Drew Gooden and Andrew DeClercq, took a 3-1 series lead on the Pistons and were one win away from becoming (at the time) just the third eighth seed to upset the one seed. During the series, McGrady averaged 31.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game and, had the Magic been able to win one of the final three games of the season, would have guided Orlando into the second round for the first time since Shaq left town.”
Here’s a look at T-Mac’s 43-point performance in Game 1...
Aaron Goldstone – McGrady’s 62-point game
“I was there. McGrady missed nine free throws! The team needed 110 points to get free Taco Bell quesadilla and they came up two points short! Greatest individual performance I’ve ever seen, but I still to this day eat Taco Bell and think McGrady. I was in college, I could have used that free food!”
Cory Hutson – T-mac’s 46-point, 13-assist, 10-rebound triple-double
“McGrady is rightfully known for his supernatural scoring talents, but he regularly showed how he was more than just a bucket-getter. Triple-doubles are the modern standard for an all-around performance, so it seemed appropriate to remember him for one of those.”
Garrett Townsend – McGrady’s self alley-oop at the 2002 All-Star Game
“I know he’s done this in real games before (most notably against the Raptors and the Celtics) and even at other All-Star games (’04), but I watched the 2002 game with a bunch of mates and, as the only Orlando fan in the group, when it happened I instantly became the coolest person in the room. That’s literally the only time my love for the Magic made such an outcome possible.”
Zach Oliver – McGrady’s in-game off-the-glass dunk
“The creativity of the dunk, and the fact that he did it, in traffic, mid-game makes it one of his best moments.”
Preston Ellis – McGrady’s 13-points in 33 seconds (We know it was for a different team but it was still awesome)
“I had never seen anything like it in my life. Even re-watching it to this day, I find myself believing he won’t manage to pull it off. As he expertly leans into Tim Duncan and manages the And-1 for his sixth and seventh points, you can see the realization take over in Duncan’s eyes. It was truly a moment that will never be duplicated.”