Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Hall of Fame voters have a packed ballot headed their way. Grant Hill, Allen Iverson, and Tracy McGrady are the major names they will have have before them. Each has excelled in his own way, earning numerous accolades, but none of them were able to earn an NBA Championship. So the question presents itself, should the Hall come calling? Since the recent history with the Houston Rockets and Tracy McGrady still resonates in the streets of Houston, and this is a Rockets blog, let’s lay out the argument for why T-Mac deserves entry.
From the moment the NBA was introduced to McGrady, he already had a significant NBA attachment. Being drafted by the Toronto Raptors in 1997, put him on the same team with cousin Vince Carter. Tracy rarely got the minutes he deserved in Toronto and when his contract was up headed to the Orlando Magic.
On August 3, 2000, McGrady was dealt to the Orlando Magic in a sign-and-trade deal for first round pick Fran Vazquez (who?). The first year in Orlando would begin the “all by yourself” curse that will haunt him throughout his career. For the first time in his career McGrady was selected as an All-Star and at season’s end he was presented with the 2001 NBA Most Improved Player Award. Even though McGrady had elevated his game from solid contributor to star, the Magic were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks.
The following season, McGrady made his second All-Star team and First Team All-NBA while averaging 26 points per game. The Magic posted a 44–38 record for the year but they were beat again in the first round of the playoffs, this time by the Charlotte Hornets.
In the 2002–03 season, McGrady averaged 32.1 points per game and captured the NBA scoring title, becoming the youngest player to do so since the ABA-NBA merger. Despite McGrady’s personal accolades, the Magic failed to reach the second round of the playoffs.
In the 2003–04 season, he once again captured the NBA scoring title, averaging 28 points per game, and set a career high with 62 points against the Washington Wizards on March 10, 2004. With this performance, he became the fourth player in the past 12 years to score over 60 points in a game. The Magic team as a whole, however, were decimated by injuries and struggled to a 21–61 season, earning them the first overall pick in the draft which turned out to be Dwight Howard.
McGrady is 1 of 7 players in NBA history with 8 straight seasons of 20 PPG, 5 RPG, 4 APG. The others are Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Kevin Garnett, and Larry Bird. Good Company.
On June 29, 2004, McGrady, Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue, and Reece Gaines were traded to the Houston Rockets in a seven-player deal that sent Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, and Kelvin Cato to the Magic. The signing of McGrady by the Houston Rockets jolted to the Rockets into a level of credability that they had not possessed in nearly a decade. in the first year, Tracy gave his finest performance as a member of the Rockets, scoring 13 points in 35 seconds.
Though his tenure with the Rockets was marred by injuries, he helped lead the Rockets to 22-game winning streak in 2007-08. The third longest winning streak in NBA history.
McGrady, LeBron and Larry Bird are the only players in history with 15,000 points, 4,500 boards, 3,500 dimes, 500 3-pt FG in 1st 11 seasons.
Every eligible scoring champion is now in the Hall of Fame except Max Zaslofsky (1948), and McGrady won it twice. Plus, he had seven straight seasons of at least 24.4 points, 4.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds
To sum it all up here are McGrady achievements:
- 2× NBA scoring champion: 2003 (32.1), 2004 (28.0)
- 7× NBA All-Star: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
- 7× All-NBA:
- First Team: 2002, 2003
- Second Team: 2001, 2004, 2007
- Third Team: 2005, 2008
- NBA Most Improved Player Award: 2001
Will Tracy McGrady be a Hall of Famer? 15 other retired players have 18,000 Pts, 5,000 Reb, 4,000 Ast in their careers. All 15 are HOF-ers.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 26, 2013