From the moment Tracy McGrady first appeared on The Jump, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols has always introduced the seven-time All-Star as “Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady.” That title becomes reality on Friday, when McGrady is enshrined in Springfield, Massachusetts, alongside the the legends of basketball.
McGrady played 938 regular-season games in his NBA career — plus another 50 in the postseason — so it’s hard to narrow down all his great moments, but here are 10 of the most memorable, exciting, show-stopping games on his path from high school to the NBA to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
10. 27 pts vs. Cavaliers (April 10, 2000)
If we’re being entirely objective, this probably isn’t one of McGrady’s 10 best single games, but it stands out for what it represented. It was one of the last games a young McGrady played for the Toronto Raptors, before leaving in free agency over the summer, and it gave Toronto fans a glimpse of what they’d be missing for the next decade. McGrady dropped 27 points — one shy of his career high in a Raptors uniform — and added 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals and 6 blocks. His cousin and teammate Vince Carter chipped in with a 31-point triple-double as the playoff-bound Raptors cruised past the Cavs.
9. Triple-double vs. 76ers (Feb. 23, 2002)
McGrady developed a reputation as a versatile player who could fill every column of the stat sheet early on. While he came close to posting triple-doubles in his first four seasons in the league, he finally broke through in a duel with Allen Iverson, finishing with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Orlando Magic to an 18-point win. It was the first of four triple-doubles in McGrady’s career.
8. 2006 All-Star Game (Feb. 19, 2006)
As tempting as it’d be to include the 2002 All-Star Game, when McGrady threw a pass to himself off the backboard for a dunk, none of McGrady’s seven All-Star appearances was better than 2006, when he scored 36 points in front of his home Houston fans, though his West squad fell two points shy of victory.
7. Game-winner vs. 76ers (March 28, 2001)
When McGrady and Iverson got together, fans knew they were in for a show, and this game was no exception. Iverson put up 37 points, the last of which gave the 76ers a 1-point lead with 7.6 seconds left. But McGrady had an answer, scoring the last two of his game-high 44 points with 2.7 seconds left to give the Magic a 1-point win. McGrady’s 44 points were more than the rest of the Magic…