Photo: Tracy McGrady, seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA scoring champion, retired Aug. 26 at age 34. Flip through this gallery for shots from his career. (David J. Phillip, AP)
And so Tracy McGrady retires.
Then I tweeted, T-Mac just retired. Is he a hall of famer? Nope.
But the father of basketball blogging Bill Simmons, in the words of T-Mac himself, wrote “hell of an article” titled “The Unfortunate Tale of T-Mac.” He crunched numbers and stats and compared him to others greats and HOF-er. After reading, it got me thinking and reconsidering T-Mac work. I asked some expert twitter friends and it’s 50/50.
Great thing here is we and the voting committee still have five more years to think it over and re-evaluate T-Mac’s career. Who knows, between now and then, perhaps he’ll come over here in the Philippines and sign my Kobe-T-Mac all-star game poster. Or better, he plays for Barangay Ginebra in the PBA. Maybe then, he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer to me.
Just kidding. Let’s go back to Bill’s post. He argues that Player A is bound to the hall by pointing out that hey Player X made it, Player A with better career stats also gets a pass.
Houston, or Springfield, we have a problem.
See, Bill compared Dumars’ HOF resume to Tracy McGrady’s career/numbers. Also, he’s saying that Tracy had inferior teammates but that exactly McGrady’s own making. He wanted to be out of winning situations at least twice. T-Mac had the chance to stick it out with Vince Carter (future Eastern Conference contender) and give Toronto super duper scoring option and perimeter defender but he wanted his own team.
Dumars did exactly the opposite. Dumars did not do the T-Mac route of looking for his own team, get away from the shadows of Isaiah Thomas and that bad boys thing and get his spruced up numbers. Dumars finished his career with less than stellar numbers but he is way better than what his stats suggests. He chose to be a part of stacked team and go winning countless playoffs series and two championships. I guarantee, you can multiply Dumars career stats with say a factor of 1.3 had he not play with Thomas, Johnson and others.
That’s part of the reason why Dumars is in the hall. He chose to win. He’s a team-first guy. Also, Dumars is one of the best guard defenders ever, ask MJ. He’s also good dude off the playing floor. Hall of Fame also takes into consideration these stuff.
If you say Tracy is a HOF’er tell my why in his own merit and no ifs, no excuses - his injuries, bad personnel moves, Grant Hill’s and Yao Ming’s injuries, bad luck, T-Mac’s own decisions, droopy eyes, etcetera.
Did he get out of the first round (yes Spurs stint isn’t included)?
Was he a great leader?
Did he inspire his teammates?
Did he win anything?
Did he enter a playoffs series versus the Los Angeles Lakers with a mindset that “I’ll kill Kobe tonight!”
Did he put forth effort in practice? (yes we’re talking about practice!)
Does he have college championship or a career to augment his PRO career?
Did he contribute in the summers for Team USA as a rep in international/Olympic play?
We can put all the T-Mac numbers (especially peak years) but at the end of the day, basketball is not only about getting numbers. It’s more about winning, long careers, sustained excellence, etc. And, we’re not even talking about rings. C’mon man, just win one damn series. Find a way to win one. He’s supposed to carry a team, recent retirees (and up for HOF-ness debate themselves) A.I. and Jason Kidd proved, this can be done. That’s what Hall of Famers did and future HOF-ers are doing.
He may or may not end up in Springfield, but one thing is for sure, a player who can’t get out of the first round isn’t a first ballot candidate. But if T-MAC wants a Filipino ally in his quest for HOF induction, I always have that poster he can sign on.
On twitter, I am more blunt. I say players like Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol are more of Hall of Famers than T-Mac. So follow me there.