Tracy McGrady’s announcement of his retirement from the NBA yesterday closes the last chapter on one of the most tantalizing, exciting, and ultimately unsatisfying careers in recent pro hoops history. He won a couple scoring titles, went to a whole bunch of All-Star games and put up some incredible numbers over the course of his career — incuding a PER of 30.3 for the season in 2002-03, higher than any player not named LeBron James has posted in the 21st century — but for many, his career will still be defined by his failure to find team success, losing in each of his first eight playoff series, and only making it past the first round of the postseason as a garbage-time scrub last year with the Spurs. Consequently, everything about T-Mac’s hoops legacy remains under permanent debate, as evidenced by yesterday’s ESPN 5-by-5 about McGrady’s career, which predictably resulted in split decisions about his defining legacy and HOF chances.
We’re not going to attempt to pass judgment on T-Mac here, though. Rather, we’re just going to present the 25 YouTube clips, in roughly chronological order, that best tell the story of his career: the incredible highlights, the tremendous disappointments, the great expectations, the revealing press conferences and the other most indelible moments of Tracy McGrady’s 15 years in the Association. Come to your own conclusions if you want, but if not, just enjoy reliving the highs and lows from one of the most endlessly compelling careers of the last few decades.
And if you see one of the Free Darko guys on the street today, give them a sympathetic hug and an understanding pat on the back.
For Andrew’s YouTube tribute to Allen Iverson, check out The 700 Level.