With two recent retirements of two guys that I remember watching so often, I got to thinking I am old. Yes, I became that guy that says “I’m old” when it comes to the wonderful world of sports. But Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady are two guys that I can recall seeing a lot of and thinking that both guys didn’t quite reach their peak. I think you could say that Iverson achieved more and was a better player than McGrady. But look at how long McGrady has stuck around the league even after enduring some injuries that probably cost him that shot at becoming something more.
I don’t think I would label either guy as a bust in any sense of the world, but maybe underachievers. Especially in McGrady’s case. Personally, I would say that Iverson had the better career when it comes down to it as he was able to take some not so good 76er team to that NBA Finals early in the 2000s. A guy that just had nothing to his body would play with that reckless abandon and still be able to get baskets when he needed. Or make that extra pass to find that open guy. He was that sort of true point guard that you wanted on your team, even if he didn’t want to practice that much. You didn’t think I would make it a paragraph without bringing that up, did you? That has been replayed so much, we could recite in our sleep.
Tracy McGrady might not have been well known for anything like that, but he was a solid enough player for his career. He played 15 years in the league, and was touted as the cousin of Vince Carter. That’s pretty good company to keep. For his career, he averaged right around 19 points a game, with that huge year where he was able to get 32 points a game in Orlando. That’s not a bad stat at all for this type of player. Playing with the San Antonio Spurs, he was able to make it to the NBA Finals, but didn’t have much impact if any there. That’s the big knock on McGrady’s game. It’s hard to recall him making it out of that first round of the playoffs when he was in his prime.
Two guys that probably aren’t necessarily linked, but to me, they’re of that old guard of the NBA. Two guys that came in with so much promise, and had to play up to that. I don’t know if both guys end up as Hall of Famers, but both guys contributed in their own ways to the NBA, and that’s saying something. Speaking of Vince Carter, that would be the trifecta to me of retirements this offseason.