It’s a pretty safe bet the #1 pick in the upcoming 2017 NBA draft will be Markelle Fultz, a player some have called a 6’4 Tracy McGrady. During a recent a trip to Texas, Fultz stopped by the home of the former 9th pick in the 1997 draft for a conversation about future goals and to play some 1-on-1.
Obviously the two were playing “let’s not get physically hurt or try to hurt the other’s ego” 1-on-1 and that’s why McGrady ended up winning. I’m not knocking the 38-year old T-Mac at all because during his prime, the 7 x All-Star was one of the greatest 1-on-1 players in NBA history. But, I’m pretty sure Fultz and his 19-year old legs could take him right now.
While talking about goals, the uber confident Fultz said he’s not only eyeing the rookie of the year award, he wants to win the MVP award. Not MVP of the Rising Stars or All-Star game but the MVP award James Harden and Russell Westbrook fought over (how stupid is it that we still do not know who the winner is because the NBA wanted to create a post-NBA Finals award show?). It’s very unlikely Fultz will be a MVP contender during his rookie season but his story of going from unknown high school sophomore on the JV basketball team to a top three player in the nation for the Class of 2016 and then the favorite to be the #1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft is amazing enough.
Another great story I like reminding people is the one about McGrady’s rookie coach, Darrell Walker, putting him in the doghouse and telling people the 18-year old might be out of the league in a couple of years if he doesn’t improve his work ethic. Thankfully for McGrady, Walker was out of there and “Uncle Butch” Carter along with cousin Vince Carter arrived in Toronto. The rest is history and 20 years later, he’s part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
Last thing, I can’t mention T-Mac and Sugar Land without giving a shout out to the Sugar Land Skeeters. It’s the baseball team McGrady played for a few years ago and because I live a block a way from the arena.