Tracy McGrady, 34, has retired from the NBA today.
Tracy McGrady finally reached the NBA Finals in June. Two months later, the two-time scoring champion is walking away.
McGrady, 34, announced his retirement Monday morning on ESPN's First Take. A seven-time All-Star, McGrady last played with the San Antonio Spurs, contributing minor minutes during the team's postseason run to a Western Conference championship after signing late in the season.
Of course, this may mean different things to all of us. McGrady retires with career averages of 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. 19/5/4... that seems so... disappointing? These numbers would be stellar for a career bench guy that spent 16 years in the league. But McGrady was never supposed to be a bench guy. We all know that he seemed destined for so much more. In his prime The Big Sleep was the NBA's most distinguished scorer and his best days, by far, were with the Houston Rockets. 13-in-35 against the Spurs is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But who can forget that shot against the Mavericks in 2005? Remember that? God that was awesome. It all seemed possible then. It all seemed like it was right there for us to take. Yet while the ceiling was astronomical for T-Mac, it never quite worked out for him. Most of us remember, all too well, a how battered back and busted left shoulder and knee derailed what was finally looking to be a phenomenal paring between T-Mac and Yao Ming.
McGrady's retirement marks the end of something that was special but not entirely satisfying or fulfilling. And I wonder if that will eat at him. What will go through Tracy's mind in those random moments in retirement when he wonders "what if?" How does it feel to know that your career was never quite the best it could be, not because you lacked the talent, but because your body betrayed you? It must be heart-stinging ordeal. We hope T-Mac dwells on the good more than the bad as he sets his sights on a life after basketball.
Thank you for the memories, Tracy. When it was good it was great... I just wish it could've turned out a little differently.
What's your favorite McGrady memory? Share it in the comments below, and here's the obligatory YouTube Porn:
Tracy McGrady Career Highlights (HD) (via NBABoxingENT)