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Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  104 responses

Tracy McGrady Says Goodbye to the NBA


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Tracy McGrady’s remarkable 16-year NBA career has come to an end.

The 7-time All-Star and 2-time scoring champion has decided to try his luck in China.

McGrady confirmed rumors that he was close to a deal with the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association — the agreement was reached on Tuesday.

T-Mac posted a farewell message to the NBA on his Facebook and personal website. Below is a snippet:

There are times in life that a new road presents itself and it appears this time has come for me now. I am so proud of what I have accomplished these past 15 years playing in the NBA. It was a dream entering the league as I just turned 18 years old. I worked hard and poured my heart and soul into this game. I consider myself a student of the game as I have watched, studied and played with and against the best players in the world. The NBA was my University and I learned so much. The gratitude I feel is really immeasurable. I have experienced the best moments a player can experience and have had some dark ones too. Both equally important in helping shape me into the man I am today.

As I enter this next chapter, I am excited to play for Qingdao Eagles in China. I have been to China several times in the last few years and I love the people and the country. It will be an honor to play for them. Thank you to every fan that has followed me and believed in me. Injuries and all, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I am proud of the mark I left on this game and am grateful to have been a part this league. It was a dream to play in front of all of you, each night, in every stadium. Thank you.

Happy trails, Tracy.

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  • Ryan

    Showing a lot of heart and class.

  • hushabomb

    Such a shame to see ya go. All I hope is that you play with heart and dedication and come back and make a winning team better for their playoff run. I’m so surprised that this happened though

  • Max

    Another man down.

  • ozmosis

    one of my favorite players as a kid, but i gotta be honest. His mark in the history books is no more than mine!

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    Good Luck T-Mac. you’ll be remembered

  • JR

    Thanks for the memories, T-Mac.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Too many years carrying Orlando by himself. I wish Grant Hill had been healthy while they were together. He had a few seasons where he was on the same level offensively with Kobe. Wonder if he will get into the Hall of Fame.

  • Redd

    Wow, I don’t think we realize how great players like Tmac are until their time is up. Hope he retires soon so he can keep his health.

  • Tempest

    I hope he dominates in China and puts up a few 30 plus games like he used to. Much love to T-Mac

  • nick

    I don’t think I could be happier as of right now, I literally currently live near Qingdao, I CAN NOT wait to see him play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.sneakertheater.com/ Sneaker Theater

    Really wish he could have signed with a contender, he deserves a ring. This is crazy… Him and Kobe were like my favorite players.

  • Caboose

    I didn’t know you had 7 All-Star appearances and 2 scoring titles. Congrats to you!

  • Caboose

    I absolutely think he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Dude was amazing carrying Orlando, and still pretty good with Houston. A rare talent.

  • BRAVO

    Oh man about 10 years ago this T-mac was my favorite player! Raptor days, Orlando days & Houston. When he was a rookie with my Raptors he had so much hype surrounding him but was over looked by VC at the time. But DAMN in Orlando days were crazy too, career number and not to mention NBA Scoring titles along with that. As far as his Houston days all I can really remember was his 13 point come back + the win again the Spurs(only 3 pointers) His big poster dunk on Shawn Bradley in the Post season……but the fact is he has never got passed the 1st Round in the Playoffs just makes me upset.

  • bike

    One of the most unique talents in the history of the nba. His body simply let him down a little early in his career.

  • Balls of Fiyah

    It’s sad to see him leave NBA.. as sad when he left Raps, and his cousin VC.

  • coyboo

    i just realized i am old now. circa 2001 its hard to imagine t-mac not being in the nba, not being coveted by an nba team even. sad to face reality

  • Chris

    Slam, why not post the entire thing?

    There are times in life that a new road presents itself and it appears this time has come for me now. I am so proud of what I have accomplished these past 15 years playing in the NBA. It was a dream entering the league as I just turned 18 years old. I worked hard and poured my heart and soul into this game. I consider myself a student of the game as I have watched, studied and played with and agai
    nst the best players in the world. The NBA was my University and I learned so much. The gratitude I feel is really immeasurable. I have experienced the best moments a player can experience and have had some dark ones too. Both equally important in helping shape me into the man I am today.

    As I leave the league for now, there have been so many profound people who inspired me along my way. I have to say thank you for guiding me and having an enormous influence on the way I played basketball. Isaiah Thomas, Rich Devos, Leslie Alexander and John Gabriel, you believed in me and I thank you. Jeff Van Gundy, you exemplified the brilliance of what a great coach is. Steven A. Smith, you gave us players a voice and for that I thank you. Doug Christy, Charles Oakley, Dee Brown, Mugsy Bogues, Antonio Davis, Dell Curry, Kevin Willis, you all showed a young kid from Auburndale Florida how to be a better player. Kobe, you made me work harder and it was an honor to play against you. And Yao, we shared an experience together that will always be with me, thank you. Sonny & Pam Vaccarro showed me how there is loyalty and genuine friendship in this business. Arn Tellem and Tim Hoy, 15 years and you are still my agents. Thank you for guiding me throughout my career. When all is said and done, there is so many that made an impact on my life. I am one blessed man to have the love and never ending support of my wife CleRenda and the best 4 kids a man can ask for. But most important, I give glory and thanks to God. It is thru Him that I have been so blessed and I am forever thankful.

    As I enter this next chapter, I am excited to play for Qingdao Eagles in China. I have been to China several times in the last few years and I love the people and the country. It will be an honor to play for them. Thank you to every fan that has followed me and believed in me. Injuries and all, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I am proud of the mark I left on this game and am grateful to have been a part this league. It was a dream to play in front of all of you, each night, in every stadium. Thank you.

  • Ismael

    DUDE never made it past the 1st round and you guys think he’s a Hall of Famer?!?!?! That’s just stupid. More guys deserve to be in the Hall than Tracy. If he get’s into the Hall of Fame then the Hall would be a freakin Joke.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    Definitely going to miss T-Mac! I remember his was the first jersey I ever bought. And I wore the all-white T-Mac1′s to the ground.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    if he gets into the Hall of Fame before Bernard King i’m going to flip the fuck out.

  • russian guy

    Considering Reggie Miller is in the Hall,T-Mac without a doubt needs to get in.

  • russian guy

    100 % agree.It’s a travesty he is not in.Does anyone actually know that Bernard dropped 50s early in the 90s?

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    Kinda surprised he didn’t mention Vince in that statement. maybe they’re no longer cool. Anyway, he was a great player for a stretch, neck and neck with Kobe in his prime. Just wish he could have stayed healthier.

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    Penny 2.0

  • Caboose

    They both deserve to be in there, for sure. Reggie is the perfect counter to any Hall argument. If he’s in, Tracy definitely should.

  • Caboose

    If he also retired today, who had the better career, Vince or TMac?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    really, McGrady only had 8 good years. Reggie was the best player on a team that made it to the finals and was a top SG in the league for over a decade. Of the 3, McGrady definitely deserves a Hall of Fame nod the least. No matter how much you dislike Reggie Miller.
    .
    McGrady never had any real success, and he really wasn’t great for very long.

  • Phil

    An example of immense talent not realized. He had the wrong people talking in his ear, he had the wrong attitude, he had the wrong work ethic and at times lazy with a question mark on his heart.

  • Phil

    The man never got out of the first round ever…when it counted most.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Tie. They were both complete underachievers

  • LakeShow

    Cop out.
    Vince, because injuries weren’t the key to his lack of success.

  • danpowers

    maybe because most of the time he played for squads that would not have even been able to get anywhere close to the playoffs without him. often getting to the first round at all because he put em on his shoulders was more of a miracle than it wouldve been to have a deep playoff run with a better team.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    You think Vince had a better career because he was healthier? LOL, you don’t discount him for not working on his game at all, and never improving over what he was as a 23 year old?
    .
    I say tie because Carter had a slightly longer run of success, but McGrady was better at his best.

  • Tavoris Sinclair

    I’m not surprised. They’re related, but they didn’t grow up together.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ehh, there is no excuse for Houston. Or losing that 3-1 lead in Orlando.

  • Tavoris Sinclair

    13 points in 35 seconds. Against my Spurs. That’s all I gotta say.

  • LakeShow

    I don’t know how I worded that so weird. My bad..
    T-Mac is who I think had the better career. Because he was a better player at his peak and injuries is what slowed him down as apposed to Vince just not caring.

  • Caboose

    If I forced you to pick one? Haha

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i’d take McGrady’s career. At least he cared

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, that makes way more sense lol

  • charliewinning

    Offensively he was the best guard in the league in his prime, even if he wasn’t the all around player Kobe was. His crossover and handle at 6’8″ was crazy. My second fave player of that era after AI.

  • rainman

    The all white TMacs were my first pair of ball shoes! memories

  • rainman

    As a Toronto resident, i approve.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    No excuse at all for losing that 3-1 lead in Orlando or not getting to the 2nd round with Yao Ming. I’ll always remember the “Feels good to be in the 2nd round” quote.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    T-Mac. Vince got further in the playoffs but he never really seemed to want to take on the role of the best player on the team and not just the most talented. Never really a true leader.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    You dunked on Shawn Bradley too?

  • Caboose

    Yeah, gotta agree with all the thoughts here. That said, does Vince belong in the Hall? If he gets a ring, will he?

  • Caboose

    Maybe he is Shawn Bradley…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i personally don’t think so. Vince is the SG version of Derrick Coleman to me.

  • manhandled

    lol. Kobe is no more of an all-around play than Tracy was in his prime. Neither one of their rebounding numbers aren`t anything that jumps out at you. They both brought down 5 rebounds and about 4 assists a game, one at 6’6/6’7 and the other at 6’8. Tracy has a slight rebounding edge and Kobe has a slight assists edge. IF Tracy could`ve stayed healthy his all around numbers would have been better because he was a better rebounder and was the more un-selfish of the two. Before the injuries started piling up he averaged close to 8 rebounds a game for a couple years. And he easily could`ve averaged 5 assists per game for his career if wasn`t for all the injured seasons.

  • Datkid

    you are a jackass

  • Datkid

    A hall of famer. even with those horrible horrible knees

  • manhandled

    I agree that his offensive game during his prime was something nasty. He was the best scorer in his prime. He was unstoppable.

  • Caboose

    Hm, I think his prime was better than Coleman’s. But I get the comparison. Know who is the Coleman version of Coleman? Cousins.

  • LakeShow

    Defense.

  • Salty

    I remember that game and the post game interview with Popovich. Craig Sager asked, “what happened out there?” and Popovich lost it: “Psh…guys get hot, how the hell should I know why guys get hot. What a ridiculous question.”….or something along those lines. Understandably, the last thing you want after a game like that is to talk to a goof in a mustard colored suit.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    He was in the league before Vince so he didn’t need to mention him with Oakley and those guys.

  • manhandled

    what about it?

  • charliewinning

    Kobe may be the most overrated defender of all time, but when those two were in their primes Kobe was actually better at it than Mac. Effort on the defensive end was the biggest difference.

  • LakeShow

    You know.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Most overrated defender of all time? A little extreme, no?

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Kobe played it. T-Mac didn’t.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    he went hard in that last 3o sec

  • HAMMER

    So sad. But time comes for everyone, eventually. I wish T-Mac the best of luck. He will be missed, no doubt. Thanks for the memories Tracy.

  • charliewinning

    Considering how many undeserved all-defensive nods he’s gotten, it’s not extreme at all. No other player has gotten that much recognition for something he barely did consistently.

  • LakeShow

    See here’s the problem… Kobe got numerous All Defense nods for being one of the better defenders at the guard position, but he was rarely the best. He was a very, very, good defender, but just not up to his accolades.
    Overrated sounds harsh, but it’s true despite his consistent defensive effort yearly, he didn’t deserve First team as often as he got it.

  • manhandled

    That`s about right. When they`re giving 100% effort both Kobe and Tracy are above average defenders. Neither can be described as great. Both have obvious lapses in defense, Tracy a few more than Kobe. But kobe`s overall effort on that side of the ball is greater which is really the only difference. lol. you`re right though. There are some people who has Kobe as one of the greatest defenders of all time at his position but truth be told, he`s not even one of the best during this time. He`s a notch or two above average.

  • RKJ92

    LOL Shawn Bradley’s SALTYYYY

  • MACARONI

    Wow one of my favorite players of all time. Its sad to see you leave. Good luck in all aspects of life T-Mac. 1

  • manhandled

    Let`s be real about it. The all-defensive honor is packaged, gift-wrapped and handed to Kobe before the season starts.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    *never the best

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Cousins has that potential, but he is not a disappointment. He was a monster the whole second half of last season in fact.
    .
    Right now it would have to be Darko wouldn’t it? Or since Coleman did have success for a few years and then fell off, maybe, Amar’e would be a more apt comparison?

  • LakeShow

    My B. Correct.
    I just mean’t on a nightly basis. Kobe was sometimes the best defensive guard on a night, but never over a season.

  • aicomeback

    is there a reason why chris mullin got in cuz if mullin can get in than tmac has gotta go in too

  • showtime

    wow time flies i still Remember that Commercial he has with adidas..Thats when bball & hiphop was at it best.”birdman what happen to that boi” They wondering about how all the kids are coming to league, its okay i will educate them ,something to that extent..& that A.I.with jadakiss CLASSIC..

  • showtime

    highschool days..those Tmac 2 got major traction with my AAu team

  • jp7

    T-Mac in his prime had the best looking offensive game and style of all time, everything he did was filthy, handles, jumpers, cross overs, threes, shot fakes, pull ups, fade aways, turn arounds, dunks, reverses, put backs, runners, hook shots, floaters, lay ups, up and unders, finger rolls, dishes, no looks, pass fakes etc aka everything lol Nobody made the game look better.

  • SpoilMii Scorpio

    @9c59b100d86728d2783a3139c718c9c6:disqus

  • roscoe

    my favorite tmac moment was in the all star game (not sure which year; either 01 or 02)when he threw it off the backboard from around the free throw line & threw down a tomahawk on at least three guys. tmac, thanks for the amazing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Surprised he left Vince off it though…he named all the main guys from the 99-00 Raptors except for Vince. Hmm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    That shoutout to Kobe is awesome.

  • MikeC.

    Based on what? I’m not trying to be a butthole, but just know there are players with better resumes still waiting.

  • Datkid

    2 scoring titles 7 all star appearances ad one of the greatest PER seasons in basketball EVER

  • Datkid

    @disqus_pjIQMFNqgq:disqus @disqus_rOeXXBD2qs:disqus neither him nor Yao were ever really healthy tho. Had they both been in perfect health I would agree.

  • Marco

    dude was amazing. nobody remembers that before lebron’s cross court bullett passes there were t-mac cross court bullett passes. and his scoring prowess was just incredible

  • Matisse

    If you were basing a players greatness on pure aesthetics, then Tracy Mcgrady is the greatest ball player ever. Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson be damned.

  • dma_pdx

    who would have thought TMac would leave the NBA before Grant Hill? Damn shame

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    I think he was naming the guys who were older than him and helped him along. He came into the league before Vince did.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    They were healthy enough to get past Dallas in that series when T-Mac dunked all over Shawn Bradley.

  • clydesays

    Remarkable? Maybe for having an incredible talent that somehow never broke through. He had health issues & motivation issues & whatever else. Still though, he was insane to watch when he was on…

  • roscoe

    injuries, and playing thru injuries typically creates your type of beliefs. i ain’t saying they aint founded, but the whole story is not always known

  • shutup

    Please just jumpoff Kobe’s nuts for one sec. Outta those 500 words or so you picked that to harp on, smh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Nooooooo…….

  • pposse

    they left out all of this cause he mentions stephen a smith

  • SirGrey

    That was one of the series bet on by Tim Donaghy, so it doesn’t count…

  • pposse

    its kind of funny he mentions jeff van gundy..i remember van gundy gave tmac a low blow when artest and yao got out of the first round the year tmac got hurt van gundy was like “i wanna take this time to congratulate tmac for finally getting out of the first round, job well done” and he didn’t stop there, he kept going and going..always thought that they were at odds

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    I don’t think you know the meaning of “harping on” something. I thought it was a cool gesture, especially because he didn’t mention other contemporaries like AI, Ray Allen, etc.

  • shutup

    Harp on
    Meaning
    To repeatedly and boringly speak about a topic.

    Yeah, I know that meaning and find it sickening that your man love for Kobe only let you take that away from those 3 paragraphs.

  • Nick

    in those 8 years he was a once in a life time talent, up there with likes of kobe and lebron with what he was able to do on a basketball court. there were periods where he was a much better all around player then kobe. Reggie Miller was clutch and i love him. as a player… but reggie never had the abilitys and talent tmac did. not even close.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Ability and Talent doesn’t get you into the hall of fame. Accolades and Accomplishments do.
    .

  • nick

    what? tmac was and STILL is the must unnderrated passer ive ever seen. MUCH more willing and talented passer then kobe. and if tmac tried 100% on the defensive end, he was better. 6’8 longer arms etc. on toronto they actually put him in ONLY for defense. Kobe just had shaq, which made him look 5x better then he was at the time. i can throw a lob to shaq in his prime.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    Not really. I also mentioned about him not mentioning Carter. I didn’t really care too much for McGrady so I’m not going to “harp on” about his time as a player.

  • Irishway’s

    That wasn’t really a shout out to kobe he just wanted to remind him that at one point one little glimmer of his career he was the best.

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