Tracy McGrady Announces Retirement From NBA; Could Still Play Abroad
Tracy McGrady announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday after a 16-year career.
“It’s been 16 years playing the game I love. I’ve had a great run, but it’s time for it to come to an end,” McGrady announced on ESPN.
McGrady, known as T-mac, was first drafted in 1997 right out of high school and has been playing professionally ever since. McGrady, now 34, spent a majority of his career with the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets, accumulating an impressive record averaging 19.6 points per game. He is a seven-time NBA All Star.
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Though his career had suffered these past four years, people are applauding him on his record-making career.
T-Mac, LBJ & Larry Bird are the only players in history w/ 15,000 Pts, 4,500 Reb, 3,500 Ast & 500 3-pt FG in 1st 11 seasons @EliasSports
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) August 26, 2013
In his prime, McGrady was one of the NBA’s top scorers, and his 2002-2003 season stats equaled Michael Jordan’s record-setting 32 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists.
McGrady suffered injuries in 2009, and has been playing as a free agent ever since. Last year, he successfully earned a place on the San Antonio Spurs and a one-year contract, but was disappointed that he was not given the opportunity to help his team – he didn’t get any playing time during the regular season.
“I still have a lot to play, to really give. But I can’t allow myself to settle. The last three years have mentally ejected me from the game. So, if I can’t be engaged and feel that I can play a role that I feel that I can play then…[I am] officially retired from the NBA,” McGrady told ESPN.
McGrady hinted that a career abroad might be in his future, saying that the “door is still open” for playing overseas – he is simply retiring from the NBA, not from professional basketball.
Thank all of you who have supported me over 16 NBA seasons, 7 All-Stars, and countless exciting moments. Retiring from NBA. Stay tuned. #mac
— Tracy McGrady (@Real_T_Mac) August 26, 2013
Last year, McGrady spent half of the season in China playing for the Qingdao Eagles and has spoken fondly of the experience. Regardless of his future playing professionally, McGrady will reportedly be eligible for the Basketball Hall of Fame in five years.
“[I want to be remembered] just as a hell of a player, man. A prolific scorer. A guy that could score in a variety of ways. I don’t know. I mean, when I was in my prime, I put everything on the table. I tried to better myself in the playoffs. I tried to do more in the playoffs than I did in the regular season, if you look at the numbers. The numbers don’t lie. I gave it my all,” McGrady said in June.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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