Tracy Lamar McGrady, Jr. (born May 24, 1979 in
Bartow, Florida), nicknamed T-Mac, is a well known
basketball player in the NBA. He currently plays
for the Houston Rockets.
McGrady (6 ft 8 in - 2.04 m), who plays either
shooting guard or small forward, is one of the
first players that went from high school (Mt. Zion
Christian Academy) straight to the NBA without
attending college. He created a national buzz
after his spectacular performance in adidas ABCD
Camp, for the best high school players in the
nation. He was drafted ninth in the first round of
the 1997 draft by the Toronto Raptors. Chicago
Bulls GM Jerry Krause had arranged a draft-day
trade to send Scottie Pippen to Vancouver for the
4th overall pick, which he would have used to take
McGrady. But, Krause was forced to call off the
deal when Michael Jordan threatened to retire if
it was made.
McGrady had a decent start with the Raptors,
getting better numbers in all categories every
year. The cousin and teammate of Vince Carter,
McGrady often found himself in the shadow of his
glorifed cousin, whose show-stopping dunks made
him an instant star. McGrady even assisted Carter
in the 2000 NBA Dunk Contest, an event in which
McGrady also was competing in. The young duo led
the Raptors to their first playoff berth in the
2000 Playoffs, where they were swept by the
veteran New York Knicks.
==A New Start==
McGrady's career took off when he forced a
sign-and-trade to the Orlando Magic in exchange
for a first round draft pick in 2000. In the
2000-2001 season, he won the Most Improved Player
Award and was selected a starter in the All Star
game. He and Grant Hill (basketball player)|Grant
Hill both were supposed to be valuable players for
Orlando, but because of a long series of injuries
to Hill, McGrady became the best player for the
Magic. In the 2002-2003 season, McGrady captured
the NBA scoring title, averaging 32.1 points per
game. In the 2003-2004 season, he once again
captured the NBA scoring title, averaging 28
points per game.
McGrady set an NBA season high when he dropped 62
against the Washington Wizards on March 10, 2004.
With this performance, he became the 4th player in
the past 12 years to score over 60 points in a
However, fortunes turned sour in Orlando after a
league-worst 21 win season. Amid allegations of
slacking off during games (he later admitted to
not giving 100% every game that season), the
relationship between McGrady and Magic General
Manager John Weisbrod worsened. Soon, Weisbrod
decided to trade the unhappy McGrady instead of
keeping him for another year and risk him leaving
the Magic without compensation.
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. In his first season in Houston, McGrady
teamed with Yao Ming, a 7'6" Chinese center, to
end the season ranked 5th in the Western
Conference. However, Houston was eliminated in the
first round by the Dallas Mavericks in a 7-game
series; with the final game being a blowout
victory by 40 points.
Even though the Rockets were eliminated from the
playoffs, McGrady still left his marks.
On December 9th, 2004 he scored 13 points in the
last 35 seconds of a game against the San Antonio
Spurs, putting on one of the great clutch
performances in NBA history. The Rockets won
He threw down a thundrous dunk over 7'6 Mavericks
center Shawn Bradley in Game 2 of the Western
At the age of 26, McGrady has already been the NBA
scoring leader twice (in 2003 and 2004.) He has
also been named to the All NBA First Team two
times, and the All NBA Second team 3 times.
McGrady is also one of the most succesful
prep-to-pros players ever, following in the
footsteps of Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and
Jermaine O'Neal. The biggest knock on McGrady is
the fact that none of his teams have ever advanced
past the first round in his NBA career.
McGrady was ranked #75 on SLAM Magazine'es Top 75
NBA Players of all time in 2003.
He and his girlfriend Clarenda Harris have a
daughter, Layla Clarice. Despite the rather ugly
separation between him and the Orlando Magic, he
still has a house in the city.