In 1996, an unknown Tracy McGrady attended the Adidas ABCD camp. He was given the jersey number 175 because he was the last player to be invited. He left the camp as the number one player in the nation and a year later, then Raptors’ Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Isiah Thomas drafted the teenage T-Mac with the 9th pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. 20 years later, Thomas welcomed the seven-time All-Star and two-time scoring champ into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“I had a zillion thoughts in my mind why I didn’t deserve to be here.” Said McGrady during his Hall of Fame speech. “I started thinking of all these NBA greats, who had accomplished so many great things. Then I began to compare myself to them. It was way too easy to focus on what you don’t have and what you didn’t accomplish. But I’m grateful for those people that saw in me and believed in me, maybe when I always didn’t believe in myself.”
Throughout the day, many of the NBA’s current greats and players who grew up comparing themselves and being inspired by McGrady, shared their love for the player they all believe deserves to be in the hall.