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Saturday, September 14th, 2013 at 3:56 pm  |  88 responses

Tracy McGrady Says He Should Have Stayed in Toronto


Now retired and reflecting openly on his career, T-Mac says he regrets his decision to take his talents to Orlando in 2000. Per the Toronto Star: “More than 13 years later, in the days since he announced his retirement from the NBA last month at age 34, McGrady has been looking back fondly on his time in the NBA’s Canadian outpost. ‘In hindsight, looking back, obviously I wish I had stayed in Toronto,’ McGrady was saying in a recent telephone interview from his home in the Houston area. ‘There’s no doubt we could have contended for a championship. I think about that often. But if ‘if’ was a fifth, you know?’”

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  • spit hot fiyah

    kind of like….

  • Gusbus

    I think he did the right thing, went to orlando to take over as his team instead of playing 2nd fiddle to vc

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    The thing is, he was a much better player than Carter ever was, and Vince in his prime was GREAT. So if T-Mac stayed in Toronto he should’ve been the primary option.

  • Lenin-Gil Phillips

    Too bad Grant Hill was injured too in Orlando then in Houston their stars couldn’t stay healthy; Yao & T-Mac would of won a championship(s) together if they could have stayed healthy on the court.

  • shockexchange

    This is what happens when you take career advice from Shelley Long. *Welp*

  • danpowers

    prime carter and prime tmac together. dang. would have been a little strange tho to see the nba championship go to toronto

  • CzechMate

    What does T-mac and Me walking behind a girl with a big booty have. in. common?
    Hindsight

  • shockexchange

    Neither one is going to make the Hall of Fame.

  • danpowers

    tmac will make the hof within the next 20 years

  • CUD

    Ahhhh the what if’s! I actually liked it when he left Toronto, otherwise we wouldn’t be talking alot more about Tmac today if he did stay there. I think Tmac became a better player than VC, and with better defensive skills. Remeber after hislast year in Toronto and his first year in Orlando, I dunno what happened to his D after then. He is my favorite player when he’s on that Magic era (and is still one of my idols all-time), and also believes that is better than Mamba back then. Injuries and his declining drive is the result of this. He even did say he could’ve been more of a practice player and not rely overly on his talents. The thing I think and wished what more interesting that could’ve happened is what if he played in a Pippen role to Kobe back in the days? You know, after he left Orlando. That would’ve have been off the hook!

  • shockexchange

    McGrady had some years where he was very dominant on some pretty awful teams. It’s a shame that (i) he got injured and (ii) took career advice from Shelley Long. Simply based on his body of work, he is not deserving of being in the Hall. It’s not the “Hall of Volume Shooters.”

  • Fwithmeyouknowigotit

    N where did that get him? no playoffs and/or multiple 1st round exit.

  • Nathan Shane Long

    T-Mac showing regret now is stupid you bolted from Toronto because you were stuck in your cousin Vince Carter shadow it ain’t like Toronto would have become an elite title contender in retrospect

  • shockexchange

    Is that you Shelley Long?

  • Gusbus

    It got him to a possible hall of fame spot

  • danpowers

    his prime was cut short by injuries and he shot quite inefficiently. the 22 win strect with houston, that huge finish against the spurs and his individually dominant years with the magic are stuff that dreams are made of plus he pushed nba basketball / basketball in general in china together with yao ming and starbury. that basketball embassador role will be his ticket into the hall, his individual accomplishment and nba performance will be a secondary aspect.

    and yeah, what a damn shame he took advice from ms long

  • The Seed

    Really, T-MAC, You want to make the Hall of Fame bad. Get those Canadian votes. LOL, this dude is getting ridiculous.

  • shockexchange

    Over his career McGrady averaged under 20ppg at a 43% clip. Given the number of shots he took, his scoring average isn’t impressive. Things working against him:

    (i) Other than shooting a lot, he didn’t do much. He wasn’t a defensive stalwart, he didn’t rebound well, nor did he impress anyone with his hustle or leadership skills.
    (ii) His teams never won anything, and it’s all his fault. Ultimately, it was his decision to leave Toronto, not Shelley Long’s.
    (iii) If he does make the Hall it will be out of sympathy or because decision makers value shooting a lot over everything else.

  • Saleem Rainman

    I think i represent all Toronto Raptor fans when i say : SMFH

  • Brandan E.

    Kobe told tmac that wayyy back in 2001, 2002!
    he was young and kinda wanted to b on his own but now he realizes that the raptors was built great for him and vince.
    and the east was weak from 1999-2004
    he should have stayed!! they woulda made at least 2 finals especially in 2001

  • MUBWAR

    just a maybe

  • Nathan Shane Long

    who knew the Raptors had fans?

  • Bruce Wayne

    Hey ya’ll, an In His Prime Grant Hill was hurt basically the WHOLE time T-Mac was in Orlando..don’t forget that

  • CzechMate

    You could say there fans are extinct
    mufwuhamoohufaa

  • Nathan Shane Long

    i’m being dead serious tho the Rudy Gay honeymoon lasted two weeks last season before all those so called “fans” hop off his dick

  • Basketball_iQ

    He was not better than Vince,, Vince fell off after his injury.
    What is it with all these cult like Tracy mcgrady followers swearing he was one of the greatest,,, he was good from ’01-’07,,,, before and after that, who was he?
    If he never left Toronto, he might’ve grown more and both probably would’ve been protected as far as injuries go bc of one another. He didn’t have a career, hehad a “stint”

  • Basketball_iQ

    He is not going to the hall of fame… Ain’t no probably to it.
    Robert Horry ain’t in, he ain’t getting in neither.

  • danpowers

    (i) just look at his career as a more or less healthy starter. idk but to me that doesnt look too shebby. he put up apretty well rounded stat line except the low fg%: in 557 games he averaged 26,3ppg, 5,5apg, 6,4rpg, 1,4spg, 0,8bpg, 43fg% 75ft% 34 3p%

    (ii) mainly his fault because he wanted to do his own thing in orlando. what he did there individually was insane tho. in houston it was all about injuries. youre right, he didnt won anything, but in houston i wouldnt say it was his fault. it was bad luck, neither he or yao ming could stay healthy. thats more or less a tragic turn of events.

    (iii) to that volume shooting argument – see (i). as i said – the hof values more than just nba output. he was really engaged in pushing basketball in china to push basketball abroad as an embassador of the sport. i think this will be his ticket into the hall. or call it that little extra that could make up for his lack of durability.

  • danpowers

    yes they wouldve been for a couple of seasons. they were two top 10 players back then and on the upper end of the top 5 of their respective positions by that time and the raptors were constructed nicely around the two of them. even after mcgrady left this raptors team was solid. really a shame he left.

  • shockexchange

    So for about 6 seasons he put up HOF numbers on woeful teams that he purposely chose because he wanted to be “the man.” You may be right that he makes the Hall. However, it would set a bad precedent. Next you will have a bunch of players who put up mediocre numbers over say 14 years, who argue they should be in the Hall because their numbers equal or exceed McGrady’s.

  • danpowers

    woeful teams? you mean woeful team: the magic. the rockets were a good team with him and ming but injuries prevented them from reaching their potential. thats sad but nothing you could blame him for.
    im not talking about numbers only – mcgrady was an elite talent and for the time he was healthy he was just dope. the point is not really the numbers tho. its about that china thing which was also the reason why yao ming got in the hall of fame discussion.

  • Brvvo

    Lol us Canadians love the raptors don’t get it twisted

  • Nathan Shane Long

    they would have been nothing more than a two man show like Westbrook&Durant a team with no depth that depends on two star players to win games on a nighty basis how in the hell were the raptors solid who did they have Mo Pete Jerome Williams like really and they had no bigs or a point guard

  • Nathan Shane Long

    yeah right Canadians ain’t love or gave a damn about the Raptors since the Vince Carter era

  • Ben Ireland

    You mean a team that made the WCF and Finals, and consistently has one of the Top 3 seeds for the past 3 years?
    Man, I’d hate to be one of those teams too!

  • danpowers

    see Ben Ireland’s reply

  • Nathan Shane Long

    boy read my reply

  • Nathan Shane Long

    A team that time has past them they had great run for three seasons but it is all over the Clippers and Warriors have past the Thunder not to mention Memphis destroyed them

  • danpowers

    you do nothing to back your assumption up. the records and team success of the thunder speak against your statement. the raptors also played competitive playoff basketball with just carter. mcgrady by that time was an elite player. there is no way they would not have been considered as contenders.

  • Max

    Everybody on SLAM knows this.

  • Max

    Because the Thunder aren’t title contenders right..

  • Nathan Shane Long

    boy they would have got smashed by the nets and the pistons in the early 2000′s let alone what Iverson did to them in the 2001 playoffs

  • John Dy

    all u have are could havs would haves..danns right. ur statements arent backed by facts but instead ur opinions. LA clippers havent gone past the semis for like how lon again since the thunder did up to the present..? Since when did the wriiors went past the semis leading to 2013. count the facts. they just lost 1 key player since reaching WCF.

  • DanG

    Very American statement. Must be one of those bandwagon Heat fans.

  • danpowers

    in 2001 iverson’s sixers beat carter’s the raptors in 7 games. add mcgrady to the raptors and you got a different outcome. at least most likely. you obviously havent seen the series back then.

  • danpowers

    the clippers yet have to prove that they are capable of winning in the playoffs same goes for the warriors. curry and thompson will carry much of the offensive load and they will have to get some experience before you can really count the warriors into the upper class of contenders.

    the grizzlies will fail due to their lack of players capable to create shots for themselves when they have to compete against one of the leagues other power houses. that got exposed against the spurs and would even get worse if they had to play against a healthy thunder team.

    there is at least one valid point you made: the thunder are not deep. they live and die with their trio. if durant, westbrook and ibaka are healthy they are serious contenders. if not then they are underdog contenders at best.

  • Nathan Shane Long

    nobody was stopping Iverson in the east that season dummy

  • Nathan Shane Long

    the Clippers are the deepest team in the west this season Chris Paul is the only other player who can win MVP this season they upgraded their roster and their head coach and as far as the Warriors are concerned Iguodala put them over the top of Oklahoma City BLUNDER not to mention both teams have better head coaches

  • danpowers

    as i said, you obviously didnt see the series so you found your oppinion on assumptions rather than on facts which is more or less the proper definition of an idiot. that doesnt really put you in a position to call out others as a “dummy” ;)

    the series philadelphia vs toronto went over the whole distance of 7 games. game 7 ended 88-87 for the sixers. 4 games were decided closely while 3 games were won by double digits of which the raptors won two. nobody was able to stop iverson individually – neither was anybody to stop carter or tmac by that time. do your homework and watch those games because you seem to have no idea what you are talking about.

    it was impressive that tmac was able to lift that weak magic team into the playoffs in the first place. it was no shame to lose against a milwaukee team that featured 3 all star caliber players in cassell, robinson and allen.

    you seriously think the raptors wouldnt have won that series with a mcgrady on board who was an elite scorer by that time after they fell short to the sixers by one single point? b*tch please.

  • Evan Boland

    OKC > LAC

  • Zabbah

    Right, and multiple Finals appearance with Carter in Toronto wouldn’t have gotten him to the HOF?

  • danpowers

    your logic works on nba 2k but if the thunders core stays intact you will see that reality works a little different. westbrook and durant are just too much for any team not called miami heat.

    depth helps more to get good regular season records than it helps in the playoffs as teams mostly stick to 8 player rotations in competitive series. the only way these teams could beat the thunder in a best of seven series is that one of the three best thunder players gets hurt like it recently happened to westbrook. i think they are even good enough to win if “only” ibaka gets hurt.

  • Zabbah

    He should’ve stayed in Toronto or Tim Duncan should’ve come to Orlando is what he wanted to say.

  • Markus437

    I have a feeling Dwight’s going to say the same thing about staying in Orlando

  • Sergio

    Recipe for 40 plus comments in the post: add T Mac and some “could have/would have scenario”. Voila!

  • Nathan Shane Long

    it ain’t like if Mcgrady would have stayed in Toronto in 2000 that he would been able to guard Iverson defense was never his calling card you f’n nerd and really what impact would he truly have had since Vince Carter was the man in toronto it ain’t like he would have taking some of carter shot attempts from him

  • Dagger

    Above average attendance for years despite never reaching the playoffs. For their perseverance in the face of prolonged hopelessness, I’d say Raptors fans are the best in the league. And there’s plenty of them in this huge, diverse city.

  • Dagger

    A much better passer and defender than Carter ever was, and a slightly better scorer. Granted, Carter was a great scorer, but Tmac could do more. If only.

  • danpowers

    actually defense was his primary calling card in his first years in toronto. he just turned the effort on d down when he became a top scorer to save energy as he was carrying his teams offensive load in orlando. later on health issues didnt let him operate at a 100% so we can only guess if his average at best defense came due to a lack of commitment or if he just filled the role he was entitled to fill.

    again, the series toronto vs philly couldve gone either way. iverson was scoring extremely inefficient with a fg% between 38 and 39%. philly was winning with his streetball offense in the east because the rest of the team was working their butts off for him. he was an impressive force in the east, no doubt. but their success obviously came due to a lack of competition. it is not very likely that this sixers team would have reached the finals or even the conference finals in the stacked western conference of this time.

    that raptors team was build perfectly around mcgrady and carter. its not that carter and mcgrady wouldve equaled that horrible anthony / iverson experiment in denver. they were working pretty fine and got better as a team each year. there is nothing indicating that the on court chemistry would have ended out of a sudden. if he had stayed team success wouldve been his mind set and this is what this whole headline and scenario is about. he chose to leave and be a one man show. he was able to co exist with another star player. unfortunatelly by that time he decided not to do so and instead took the wrong way.

    sure, mcgrady would have taken some of carters shots and vice versa – two prime scorers still hold the potential to have a bigger output than one. that might shock you now but everybody with knowledge of the game would tell you so. its also about quality offense: if one guy doesnt have to shoulder the whole load he is more likely to operate efficiently when the game is on the line.
    if you dont believe me just go ahead and ask around my internet gangster friend lol

  • Nathan Shane Long

    that all you do boy is type paragraph after paragraph of nonsense meaningless stats to somewhat validate you idiotic “opinion” you talking about the Raptors from the 2000-2001 season like you really focus and follow them 13 years ago instead of replying in complete hindsight and retrospect stop being on that NBATV history channel B.S. boy

  • danpowers

    i actually followed the league back then and saw their whole playoff run.

    this is by the way how arguments become statements: on the basis of logic and facts. the only thing you assumed is that nobody could stop iverson. youre talking about a guy who shot below 40% from the field in these playoffs to reach his 32,9+ppg. it iis beyond any logic to think a team that fell short to these sixers with a single point wouldnt have advanced with a weapon like mcgrady on board. your oppinion makes little to no sense. insulting me doesnt really let your illogical assumption appear any smarter.

    but kudos man, you seem to be a very brave man behind your keyboard. im shook lol

  • Mariano

    Raptors were 13th best in attendance last season btw

  • Nathan Shane Long

    does that mean that “real” Raptors fans showed up on a nightly basis or was that people came out just to enjoy the show and watch some NBA basketball hell to be honest the only times i seen the air canada centre packed was based off who was the “away” team and “fans” in the arena wearing the “other” teams jersey

  • Nathan Shane Long

    you “followed” the league back then i really don’t believe that F’N lie at all im done with you don’t bother to reply

  • danpowers

    well, obviously you didnt lol. im 31 so i even had much more time to follow the nba back then than i have today.

    come on, lets not get too sensitive in here. just a heated discussion about “what ifs”. no need to make this whole issue a b*tch fight

  • Mike Gilbert

    you seem like a miserable person

  • danpowers

    hm i wouldnt judge him as a person on that. guess some guys just cant handle the pressure in here lol

  • guest

    man if Lebron Tmac and Shaq were on ONE team… only Jerry Buss with Phil Jackson as coach could have made this happen

    VC TMAC LEBRON

    LEBRON SHAQ RICK FOX

    DRose Lbj Luol Deng

    Darius Miles Qrich Lebron

    Ray Allen Sam Cassel lebron

    Tmac Lebron yao

    Allen Iverson Lebron Dikemebe

    Jkidd Lebron Todd Mcallaugh

    Lebron Gary Payton Shawn kemp

    If only these teams wouldve picked up Lebron at the right time they would have been winners.

  • Björn Atli

    this is the funniest comment i’ve read in a while.

  • Mike From Spain

    I want to barge in to say… are you faking it or is it for real?

  • Mike From Spain

    Man, give it up, leave from here. Go home, you are drunk

  • Mike From Spain

    OKC only did one questionable thing in their current build: they let Harden go in order to keep Ibaka and/or Perkins. Other than that, I would really love to have my team ‘blunder’ like you say they do.

    Sir, are you trolling or just don’t want to discuss basketball with any depth?

  • Nathan Shane Long

    what you mean my “team” oh i get it you are obviously a fake phony “bandwagon” OKC “fan” that has been one only for the past 2 years GTFOH

  • cool

    “very american statement.” must be one of those bandwagon canadian justin beiber fans.

  • Interdico Scriptor

    yup

  • Interdico Scriptor

    wtf are u going on about?

  • Interdico Scriptor

    Carter was not a great scorer. He was good, but not great. An unreliable j means it’s hard to be considered great. TMAC was waay better

  • Interdico Scriptor

    I see what u did there

  • Fitzy

    lol you americans love him more than we do.

  • Fitzy

    that argument can be applied to every team in the NBA.

  • RKJ92

    Interdico, I have watched Carter for YEARS he is an extremely gifted scorer, definitely a great scorer. You have to remember that one year Carter averaged 28ppg for a year :) TMac was better for sure but to call Carter just a “good” scorer is insulting to his game, he was nastyyyy.

  • John Dy

    iggy makes GS a serious contender by potential esp. if u add their most recent playoff performance. but as they say the ball is around. and it still 82 games prior. so tis too early to call. Look what happened to NYC just this past season.compare them from the start as to their overall team performance and health and to what happeend to them reaching the playoffs. Its too early now but I like how the west is shaping up. Clipps, Warriors, OKC, Hou, just to start with. its gonna be one one hell of a post season.

  • JC

    Exactly what I was thinking..

  • Adam Webber

    Tmac get real.Contend for a championship. YOU NEVER MADE IT OUT FIRST ROUND as a starter

  • Mike From Spain

    Wolves fan here. It’s kind of ashaming to admit to being a fan of such a team LOL

  • price

    I love the Raptors. I’m a Canadian fan who lives very far from Toronto. So I miss games 100% of the time but I definitely speak for many Canadians.

  • Clos1881

    Lol

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com/ Off The Backboard

    Even in their best years I doubt they would have gotten past either the Spurs or the Lakers with Shaq/Kobe/Duncan in their primes.

    Its funny, no one predicted McGrady to be as a prolific scorer as he became in Orlando. He bumped his average by 11 ppg the year he switched. Its also confusing why he wanted to leave Carter’s shadow, but was OK sharing the spotlight with Grant Hill (had Hill been healthy).

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