Hang Time Podcast

Hang Time Podcast: Tracy McGrady on NBA career, Hall of Fame, and more

Sekou Smith

Sekou Smith

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Tracy McGrady, one of the most dynamic scorers in NBA history, will earn his place at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this Friday. The seven-time All-Star sat down with me in Houston to talk about his NBA career, reaching the Hall of Fame, and much more. Then John Schuhmann stops by with his weekly trivia question.

Highlights below:

4:00-minute mark, on reaching the Hall of Fame without a championship ring:

“There are some things I could have done differently, absolutely. But I think I gave everything I had to the game to be a champion, to work with what I had.”

7:45, on the summer he burst onto the NBA radar:

“It was an opportunity I was waiting on. I kept hearing this name Lamar Odom floating around … a 6-10 point guard from New York City. And the opportunity presented itself for me to play the best player in the country, Lamar Odom. So I went at him … killed him. And I left that camp the No. 1 player.”

12:00, on how he and his cousin Vince Carter helped inspire basketball players in Canada:

“Man, when we got Vince Carter, things completely changed. The city started to catch on and realize this is a game we should really pay attention to. We inspired a lot of kids in Toronto and around Canada during those two years. That’s a great feeling to have, that’s the legacy you want to leave. Now I look around the NBA nowadays and we have a lot of Canadians in our league, and they’re pretty damn good. I’d like to think me and Vince had something to do with that. We’ll take a percentage of your contract [laughs].”

15:00, on the pressure to become a young leader in Orlando:

“Where the pressure comes in is the leadership. As far as basketball, being on the court, that was the easy part. But how do I lead? I don’t have the capabilities to lead. That’s not who I am. That’s what I was missing in Orlando … how do I lead these guys?”

18:00, on how coach Jeff van Gundy helped his development in Houston:

“I matured as a player, and Jeff had a lot to do with that because of the guys he coached. He knew how to deal with a superstar by coaching Patrick Ewing. He helped me so much.”

21:30, on what he takes away from his career:

“I look at where I came from, I look at how I grew up, I look at where my friends are now … I came out of these conditions and made a name for myself nationwide … worldwide. From Auburndale, Florida to the Hall of Fame.”

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