THAT WAS THEN ... THIS IS NOW: Iceman and T-Mac
The game has evolved dramatically over time, but NBA.com's That Was Then ... This Is Now proves the more things change, the more they stay the same. We compare two All-Star scoring machines: George Gervin and Tracy McGrady. Check back to see which old-school All-Stars are most similar to: Steve Francis (Jan. 29), Shaquille O'Neal (Jan. 31), Kobe Bryant (Feb. 4) and Tim Duncan (Feb. 6).
-- By Rob Peterson


Name
GEORGE GERVIN
TRACY McGRADY
Nickname
The Iceman
The Big Sleep, T-Mac
Height
6-7
6-8
Weight
185
210
Career
(Seasons)
1972-1986
(14 -- includes four in ABA)
1997-present
(Sixth NBA season)
A-S Appearances
9
3 (includes 2003)
First
All-Star Game
1977
(Milwaukee)
2001
(Washington)
Age (first A-S Game)
24
21
A-S scoring average
15.2 ppg
13.0 ppg
Best A-S
performance
1980:
34 pts., 10 reb., 3 asst.
2002:
24 pts., 4 reb., 3 asst.
A-S Game MVP
1980
None
Career avg.
26.2
17.8
Best season
33.1 ppg (1979-80)
26.8 ppg (2000-01)
Memorable move
The finger roll
Pass to self off backboard
THE SKINNY
1980 All-Star Game
Gervin's MVP performance:
56k | 300k
Both players -- slim, angular and fluid -- were raw youngsters when they entered the pro ranks. McGrady arrived fresh out of high school when the Raptors picked him in the first round of the 1997 Draft, while Gervin spent two years in college before the Virginia Squires of the ABA selected him in the first round of the 1972 draft.

McGrady, like Gervin, possesses a smoothness that makes everything appear easy. He once scored 41 points after being asleep in the locker room before the game, earning him the nickname "The Big Sleep" from teammates. Bigger than Gervin by 35 pounds, McGrady is an amazing athlete -- fast in the open court, quick in the half-court offense and explosive near the rim. His pass off the backboard followed by a windmill dunk in the 2002 All-Star Game was the game's most spectacular highlight.

McGrady has also become more proficient from the outside as his three-point shooting percentage has improved every season and is currently at .383, 30 points higher than his career average. By adding an effective outside shot, McGrady has become the league's leading scorer this season (30.1 ppg).

Gervin, who would be forced to hit the weight room in today's NBA, had an array of moves coupled with many different release points that allowed him to lead the league in scoring four times, including three consecutive seasons, 1978, 1979 and 1980.

Primarily a midrange shooter when he began his career, Gervin could go inside despite his slight frame. Famous for his silky finger roll, Gervin could coolly score, seemingly, at will and from anywhere, hence his nickname: the Iceman.

Photo credits: (Gervin - NBA Photos; McGrady - Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images)