Tracy McGrady Headlines 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees

Tonight, Tracy McGrady will join Bill Self, Rebecca Lobo, Robert Huges and Muffet McGraw as the 2017 Naismith Hall of Fame Inductees. Like the others in his class, McGrady has a highly decorated career. He was a 7 time NBA all-star, 2 time NBA scoring champion and 2 time NBA first-team selection. But unlike many who are in the Hall, McGrady is looked at by some as a questionable inductee.

Tracy McGrady’s legacy in the NBA will always be a unique one. One of the most entertaining and dominant players of the late 90s-early 2000s, McGrady often gets left out of conversations including Kobe, Duncan and Garnett. The reason? It’s simple: rings. While Kobe, Duncan and KG have a collective 11 NBA titles, McGrady never saw his way out of the first round.

Championships are the go-to in every sports argument. It’s what the MJ faithful love to use when arguing Kobe vs Jordan or Lebron vs MJ. It’s true, the ability to win the ultimate prize adds an extra layer of greatness to a player’s legacy. But don’t for one second mistake one’s “inability to win” as a sign that one does not belong among the elite.

Tracy McGrady is one of the best “what if” players. What if he stayed in Toronto. What if he never got injured. How great could his career have been? How would McGrady be perceived if he won? McGrady’s induction into the Hall of Fame isn’t a time to say what if, it’s a time to remember what he did.

In the 2003-04 & 2004-05 seasons, McGrady led the league in scoring. Ahead of Kobe. Ahead of Duncan, Garnett, Shaq, Vince, Dirk. He averaged 32 and 28 points per game, respectively. He was then was shipped to Houston where he continued to average 24 points per game for each of the next three seasons. His most memorable Rockets moment came on December 9th, 2004. 13 points in 33 seconds. The clip is a basketball junkie’s dream. But despite heroic efforts like that, McGrady will still never be considered a winner.

The world we live in is all about rings. It’s why Kevin Durant went to Golden State. It’s why the state of the NBA is all about super teams. Everyone is chasing that illustrious ring. T-Mac never got that ring, he never came close. And it will forever be held against him. Tonight though, don’t think of McGrady as what could have been. Look back and remember what he was. Because ring or not, Tracy McGrady was electrifying, and he was special.

Other Inductees

Bill Self

At the age of 54, Bill Self has achieved a lot in the college basketball world. He’s a 2 time National Coach of the Year and 5 time Big-12 Coach of the Year. His Kansas team’s have reached the Final Four twice, winning it all in 2008. Most notably however, Self has led Kansas to 13 straight Big-12 Regular Season Championships. Self has a lifetime record of 613-193. He is the 9th fastest coach to eclipse 600 wins.

Rebecca Lobo

While Rebecca Lobo’s WNBA career may have been cut short, she has a very decorated basketball career. She helped lead UCONN to a an undefeated season and National Championship in 1995. That year, she won the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, Naismith College Player of the Year and AP Player of the Year. Lobo won a Gold Medal in 1996 and was a WNBA all-star in 1999. After retiring from the WNBA, Lobo became the first woman’s analyst for women’s college and WNBA basketball.

Robert Hughes

Hughes is the all-time winningest high school basketball coach in the U.S. He spent 47 years at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Fort Worth, Texas. During his time on the sideline, Hughes compiled 1,333 victories. He won 35 district championships and 5 Texas state championships. in 2003, Hughes was National High School Coach of the Year.

Muffet McGraw

A Hoop Group alum, Muffet McGraw has achieved a lot as the head coach at Notre Dame. She has won the Naismith Coach of the Year (2001), USBWA Coach of the Year (2001, 2014) and the AP Coach of the Year (2013, 2014) award. She led Notre Dame to a National Championship in 2001 and has compiled a .771 winning percentage coaching for the Irish, with a career record of 765-227. McGraw has led the Irish to seven Final Fours, and has won the conference Coach of the Year award and equal amount of times.

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