It was 1999, Toronto was playing Orlando. Raptors guard and free-agent-to-be Tracy McGrady crossed paths with Magic coach Doc Rivers at the end of the game.
“I told Doc to hold the place for me,” McGrady said on Tuesday. “Nobody had to do any recruiting. I knew I was coming home. Growing up watching Nick, watching Penny, watching Shaq, this was a team I always wanted to play for. It was a dream for me to play here.”
McGrady was honored on Tuesday for the four years he played in Orlando as the Magic inducted him into their Hall of Fame at Amway Center.
The Magic have just inducted Tracy McGrady into their hall of fame: pic.twitter.com/lMX1Kte05Z— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) March 20, 2018
The Magic paid tribute to T-Mac with a ceremony before the game and an on-court presentation after the first quarter.
“I got inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, but today is special to me,” said McGrady, a Florida native, in his speech during the pre-game ceremony.
“I used to tell my mom, used to tell my friends, that I was going to be wearing this uniform one day,” he said.
We took a look at McGrady’s accomplishments and memorable moments earlier today. He was praised throughout the day by many in the Magic organization.
“As difficult as anyone in the league at his time,” Frank Vogel said. “His ability to rise up and shoot over any defender. He couldn’t be double teamed because of his size and passing. He’s as difficult as anyone I’ve had to prepare against.”
During the pre-game ceremony, McGrady recalled going to a playoff game between the Magic and Heat in 1997, watching Penny Hardaway score 42 points, and realizing that he wanted to one day wear the same jersey.
“I was so sold on putting on this uniform. And one day I wanted to represent it well,” McGrady said. “I hope I did that for the DeVos family. I thank them for giving me the opportunity to come back home and play for the Orlando Magic. The four years that I had here were some of the best years of my life.”
‘I didn’t want to leave here,” he added. “Thats another story.”
A story that Magic fans would like to hear the rest of.