In terms of sheer talent, presence and production on the basketball court, few NBA players have achieved more, or been more admired for their skills, than Tracy McGrady.
The man known as ‘T-Mac’ was left off of the NBA’s recent Top 75 list because of his lack of playoff success among other factors, however.
McGrady finished with a 19-31 career playoff record over nine seasons in the NBA with Toronto, Orlando, Houston, Atlanta and San Antonio. McGrady knew he didn’t quite live up to his lofty potential in the playoffs, saying recently that he was more upset about Dwight Howard being left off of the NBA 75 list than his own exclusion.
McGrady, one of the most talented scorers and all-around players we’ve ever seen, has gone on to become a successful analyst in his post-playing days.
Recently, he shared what he thought would happen if two other legends of the game, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, were to play a game of 1-on-1.
McGrady: ‘Kobe Enhanced Those Skillsets That He Took From Michael Jordan’
Recently, McGrady weighed in on the Kobe vs. MJ debate with a surprising take. During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take, T-Mac said that Bryant is “the most skilled player he’s ever seen.”
“I see MJ & Kobe, but Kobe enhanced those skillsets that he took from Michael Jordan. The ball-handling skills. The fadeaways. I think Kobe is the most skilled basketball player that I’ve ever seen over Michael Jordan,” Bryant said according to LakersNation.com.
Tracy called Kobe the greatest one-on-one player he’s ever played against.
“Kobe Bean Bryant. He’s the greatest one-on-one player I’ve ever competed against, and not just because of his skillset. It’s because of his mentality. He was just a certified killer.”
When asked who would win in a one-on-one game, T-Mac did not hesitate.
McGrady then said he would pick Bryant over Michael Jordan for a one-on-one game:
“I see MJ & Kobe, but Kobe enhanced those skillsets that he took from Michael Jordan. The ball-handling skills. The fadeaways. I think Kobe is the most skilled basketball player that I’ve ever seen over Michael Jordan.”
McGrady, Kobe’s Epic Duels
McGrady and Bryant had some epic duels over the course of their careers, beginning during T-Mac’s days in Orlando.
Bryant came out on top in the early going of their careers, but the competition between these two legends was as fierce as it got.
On November 27, 2002, McGrady and Bryant each had 38 points in a memorable nationally televised ESPN game that I still remember watching to this day.
As much as we like to talk about today’s high-scoring forwards and guards like Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo, there will never be another crop of high-scoring, dynamic guards and forwards like the ones we had back in the early 2000s.