By Jim Vangelis
Every NBA player, at one point in his career, experiences this moment – the moment he realizes he’s no longer able to do some (or all) of the things that he used to do. That’s life, when father-time starts to affect you and your physique. Of course, injuries play a big part in that.
Former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady recalled his ‘moment’, when he realized he was no longer the explosive scoring machine he once was (Vine Sports).
“I can remember like it was yesterday,” he said. “I was sitting on my couch, watching TV, and I wanted to prop by leg and put like a footstool, and I couldn’t extend my leg.”
“So I am like ‘holy crap’… and from that point on, I knew something was bad,” McGrady recalled.
He said that at the end of the season he went through a surgery, a rigorous rehab program, trying to come back, and just wasn’t able ‘to go’.
“What really did it for me to set it down is when we were playing in Milwaukee and I’ve never really been embarrassed on a basketball court…,” McGrady said. “I went up to go for a dunk like on the other side and I couldn’t jump at all, and I got hung.”
“It was a laughing and an embarrassing moment of my career. Long story short – I just wasn’t able to get back to myself.” he said.
When Tracy McGrady was away of the NBA, and went to play in China, very few believed that he’d be back. And yet he did, signing with the San Antonio Spurs for the playoffs in 2013. His return didn’t do much either for him or the Spurs.
When McGrady finally retired, he surprised everyone again, by fulfilling his childhood dream – playing baseball. McGrady signed on to play in the minor league baseball for The Sugar Land Skeeters.
Former NBA star turned out to be smart enough not to torture himself and his ageing body in baseball, and has just called it quits after three months.
McGrady retired, following a rather bleak short stay with the Spurs in the NBA Playoffs in 2012-2013. He played in 15 NBA seasons, 4 of them with Orlando Magic.
McGrady was a 7-time NBA All-Star and led the NBA in scoring for 2 straight seasons (2002-2003, 2003-2004) with 32.1 ppg and 28.0 ppg respectively. He was also the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2001.
He nearly won his first NBA title, but the Spurs lost to the Miami Heat in an epic seven-game finals series in 2013. McGrady averaged 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in a career that started in 1997, when he was drafted out of high school.
This post is part of EXNBA’s “Courtside Stories” series. Check out our other series below:
How adopted kids helped ex-NBA center to play in playoffs
1992 New Jersey Nets and Cleveland Cavs set records
Pippen, Grant never believed Bulls could win 70 games
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