Tracy McGrady announced his retirement from the game of basketball on ESPN's First Take marking the end of one of the most exciting careers of the last 20 years. T-Mac hadn't looked like his Hall of Fame self since 2008, before the combination of knee and back injuries relegated him to pedestrian status.
But his run as one of the most prolific scorers in the game won't be lost on anyone who followed basketball closely from the early to late 2000s. Mac's run with Orlando from 2000-04, which included a pair of scoring titles, led to the excitement of his pairing with Yao Ming in Houston, when the Rockets traded away Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley to bring in the MVP caliber talent. It was as big in Houston then the way signing Dwight Howard is now.
It never panned out quite the way they planned in Houston due to injuries, and the Rockets never made it out of the first round of the playoffs in the Mac-Yao era. McGrady is always going to have that knock on him for not being the guy who could elevate his team as the leader.
That's a fair criticism. But if anyone can think of someone who could check McGrady between 2000 and 2008, well, that person is probably lying.
Remember when there was an even-sided debate as to who was greater between McGrady and Kobe? Kobe does. Recently Bryant praised McGrady as the toughest opponent he's ever faced.