May 24, 2014 – Happy Birthday to Sugarland Skeeter Tracy McGrady (that sounds so weird to me), who worked 2.2 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with four walks in his second regular-season outing on Thursday night.
I wish him nothing but success in his new career and enjoy being able to watch all of his games since the Skeeters literally play across the street from my home, but as a T-Mac fan since the day he appeared in the Punks section of Slam Magazine as a high school kid ready to make the jump that Kobe did a year before, seeing these games just doesn’t touch the satisfaction of watching him put up some of the most underrated offensive numbers over the last 14 years of the NBA.
I’m not taking anything away from Kevin Durant, but I’ve been pretty critical of the media’s praising of KD’s recent 25 points a game streak that KD himself didn’t think was a big deal. During one of my responses to the streak, I brought up T-Mac’s 2002/2003 season, when he averaged 32 a game and put together this streak of impressive games that ended with a 12-point game vs the Mavs: 52, 46, 34, 28, 26, 48, 37, 43, 43, 32, 34, 36, 39, 37, 34, 41, 30, 39, 30, 12. I’m not saying this streak was better or worse than any stretch of KD’s streak this season, I’m just saying there’s been plenty of great offensive stretches in the past that aren’t remembered and T-Mac was one of the great players to have one of those great stretches.
Here’s 5 other more memorable T-Mac moments that I remember very well and would like to share on his born day.
T-MAC AND ARENAS SHOOTOUT AT HURRICANE CHARITY GAME
I was lucky enough to have a near front row seat (8 seats to be exact) for this Hurricane Katrina relief game. The short but shocking shootout between him and his fellow Adidas endorser remains one of my favorite “I saw that live” moments ever.
T-MAC 13 POINTS IN 15 SECONDS
The best last minute comeback I’ve ever witnessed. The expression on Devin Brown’s face says it all.
T-MAC POSTERIZES SHAWN BRADLEY
McGrady’s best dunk and probably the best dunk on Bradley and that’s saying a lot because he unofficially has been on more posters than any other player. What most people don’t remember about this game is T-Mac also hit a game-winner.
T-MAC OFF THE BACKBOARD DUNKS
He wasn’t the first to do it but his name has been attached to “off the backboard game dunks” ever since he did it the 2001 NBA All-Star game.
Honorable mention goes to him finishing second to his cousin in the 2000 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest. He didn’t want to participate but Vince “convinced” him. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
T-MAC’S LETTER TO MICHAEL JORDAN
It’s not a video but this letter from T-Mac to the GOAT is awesome. It’s even better when you think about the fact that the Bulls almost traded Pippen for him on draft night.
In 2004, I also made this pretty bizarre tribute to McGrady (as well as the film Kill Bill) and 10 years later it remains the most bizarre tribute to T-mac (or probably any NBA player) on the web.