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Trevor Ariza: Rockets’ Tracy McGrady was one of my favorite players

By Anthony Duckett
Tracy McGrady #1 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Tracy McGrady #1 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Portland Trail Blazers veteran forward Trevor Ariza says former Houston Rockets superstar Tracy McGrady was one of his favorite players.

Former Houston Rockets superstar Tracy McGrady is regarded as one of the most fluid and natural scorers in NBA history. T-Mac was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017, and rightfully so, as he left his mark on several organizations.

McGrady became an All-Star with multiple teams, and still holds the single-season scoring record for the Orlando Magic to this day. In addition, McGrady still ranks as the fourth-leading scorer in Orlando’s franchise history, as he led the league in scoring in consecutive seasons during his stint with the Magic.

McGrady joined the Rockets prior to the start of the 2004-05 season, and he would play six seasons in the Space City. Despite sharing the ball with another Hall of Famer in Yao Ming, McGrady finished inside of the top-ten in scoring on multiple occasions during his tenure in Houston.

Trevor Ariza says Rockets McGrady was one of his favorite players.

Former Rockets forward Trevor Ariza took notice of McGrady’s game, as he admitted that McGrady was his favorite player. Ariza was on the Knuckleheads podcast with Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson and had the below to say about the former Rockets star.

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“T-Mac was one of my favorite players too. He was so cold. He used to be one of my favorite players for real. T-Mac just was so smooth.

I wanted to learn how to be smooth like he was, because it just looked effortless. His game was just easy. His hesitation? Oh my God, that was amazing. He was so cold.”

McGrady’s game was certainly smooth and he had the ability to dominate games in several different ways. At 6-foot-8, T-Mac had elite athleticism, as he had a 42-inch vertical.

This made it a common occurrence for him to put opposing players on a poster, which Shawn Bradley can attest to. He also had the ability to make a variety of shots, as he could make mid-range jumpers or 3-point baskets, which made him a constant threat when the game was on the line.

McGrady averaged 22.7 points per game during his time with the Rockets, which ranks third in franchise history, behind only James Harden and Moses Malone. McGrady also averaged 5.6 assists per game in the Space City, which ranks seventh in Rockets history.

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All in all, Ariza was right: T-Mac was cold. And we’ve even heard other players around the league echo those sentiments.