NBA free agent Nick Young remembers the time former Houston Rockets superstar Tracy McGrady dunked on him.
Former Houston Rockets great Tracy McGrady turned himself into one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history, as he could essentially do anything on the court. T-Mac’s prolific basketball life started in high school, as he starred at Mount Zion Christian Academy, and impressed scouts enough to get drafted with the ninth pick in the 1997 NBA Draft.
McGrady was drafted by the Toronto Raptors, where he played alongside his cousin and future Hall of Famer Vince Carter. T-Mac improved upon his scoring in each of his first three seasons, and later joined the Orlando Magic, where he ultimately became a superstar.
McGrady played four seasons in Orlando and amassed quite the resume with the Magic, as outlined below:
- Four All-Star selections
- Four All-NBA selections
- Two consecutive scoring titles
T-Mac was later dealt to the Houston Rockets, in a deal that sent Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, and Kelvin Cato to the Orlando Magic, and paired McGrady with Hall of Fame center Yao Ming. McGrady made the All-Star team in each of his first three seasons in the Space City, and lasted six seasons with the Rockets.
T-Mac battled injuries throughout his Rockets tenure, which were unfortunate because it prevented the Rockets from reaching their full potential. In spite of T-Mac’s physical deterioration in Houston, he was able to tower over defenders, as he stood 6-foot-8 and possessed a 42-inch vertical.
T-Mac made a habit out of posterizing defenders, and was fearless when driving towards the basket. One of the most memorable dunks McGrady had during his Rockets tenure was when he put Shawn Bradley on a poster, despite giving up nearly a foot in height (10 inches to be exact).
But perhaps one of McGrady’s most memorable dunks in the eyes of Nick Young was one that involved him, as Young explained on the Knuckleheads podcast.
Young recalls getting dunked on by Rockets Tracy McGrady
“I didn’t think he was gonna dunk it like that. I thought it was too far. He just ended up banging it on me and I was like da-.”
Young later clarified that he was slammed on by the Houston Rockets version of T-Mac. As Young alluded to, McGrady had incredibly long arms, as he boasted a 7-foot-2 wingspan, which meant the rim was never “too far” as long as it was in the vicinity of his reach.
McGrady inserted himself in the conversation of one of the league’s best dunkers when he participated in the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk contest, which also involved former Houston Rockets highflyer Steve Francis. McGrady ultimately lost to Vince Carter, but went to-to-toe with VC and even reached the final round, which is impressive considering that McGrady was just 20-years-old at the time.
McGrady’s athleticism made many of today’s players appreciate his game, as we’ve heard Paul George explain how much he idolized him. T-Mac was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, and is entrenched in the Rockets’ record books, as he currently ranks second in usage rate, third in scoring, seventh in assists, and eighth in player efficiency.
Former Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza described McGrady’s game as smooth, while also explaining that he was “so cold.” It’s a safe bet that Nick Young would also agree with Ariza’s assessment.