Do you ever find yourself bored at work, surfing YouTube and getting sucked into old highlights? The old Tracy McGrady tapes, the really old ones from back in Toronto and the first few years in Orlando can get you thinking. You see the elbow sweatband, the long gait, the knee straps, the rawness of his whole game from the way his jumpers would sometimes careen to the side to how many of his points came off wild, leaning shots in the lane.
Earlier this morning on ESPN’s First Take, the great McGrady announced his retirement from the NBA. At 34 years old, and after 16 years in the Association, it’s a sad day and the end of an era. After career averages of 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game, T-Mac did say he would consider playing overseas. But more than likely, all McGrady-inspired attention will now shift to his Hall of Fame candidacy.
Still, we will never get rid of Tracy McGrady, mostly because lost potential, and lost greatness, is the worst thing of all. The best of ‘Mac was fleeting and that’s why we cherish it.
Back in the day, T-Mac could jump. But he was different than the way Kobe dunked or the way Vince dunked. It was all longer, like an octopus expanding and consuming. A top 10 Tracy McGrady dunk list was coming, and it’s been coming ever since one muggy afternoon in the summer of 1996 when McGrady put down the most mythical dunk in the history of this game, the dunk that changed the careers of both McGrady and James Felton. It was years before video surfaced, and it would probably be No. 1 on here if I wanted to make it easy. Instead, here are the top 10 other dunks of McGrady’s career.
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10. Over David Robinson
It was Jason Terry who once described this dunk as an MJ dunk, one where you get up in the air not knowing what you’re gonna do and then just coming up with something crazy. In mid-air, T-Mac wasn’t as creative as some of the game’s greatest swingmen, but this one was good enough. Twisting and turning, then throwing it reverse on a man who was still an upper-echelon defensive center gets you into the top 10.
Stop it at :30 seconds to see one of the illest high school facials you will ever find. It’s all there, everything you need for a perfect dunk. Even in high school, McGrady had it. This one gets extra points for being HoopsTV footage anyways.