When Tracy McGrady signed with the Orlando Magic on August 3, 2000, it wanted to be the face of the franchise. He was in Toronto his first with the Raptors, an opportunity he didn’t get in his season of his three-year career.
In 192 games as a member of the Raptors, McGrady averaged just over 11 points per game, his third and final season being his best, posting 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
But McGrady, who played as the second scoring option behind Vince Carter, chose to bet on himself in the offseason, signing a seven-year, $92.8 million contract with the Magic.
And joining him in free agency in Orlando was a true star, Grant Hill, who made five All-Star appearances in his first six seasons with the Detroit Pistons.
But another star and former number 1 pick, the San Antonio Spurs legend was also cheating by joining two young Central Florida guards.
“Orlando, Miami, San Antonio, Chicago, New York, all these teams came knocking and Orlando felt like a good fit,” Hill said. “I knew[Tracy McGrady]was coming. We had a chance, Tim Duncan. We were sort of building our own big three, if you ask me. But it was like that. did not work.
“I don’t know. I mean, he’s definitely interested and seeing Tim now in his career, I can’t imagine him anywhere else. , I don’t know how serious he was, but when we visited, we thought he was there, but it turns out he wasn’t.
Hill’s stint in Orlando was derailed by an injury that saw him play less than 50% of his possible games in six seasons, but McGrady made a name for himself in historic fashion.
In his first season, the Toronto former third fiddle finished with over 28.1 points, 7 rebounds and 5.2 assists to reach his first career All-Star Game and win the Player of the Year award.
“I had to work. I’m not going to lie. I was amazed at what I was able to accomplish in terms of scoring,” McGrady said on the Pivot Podcast.
McGrady was named an All-Star in each of his four seasons with Orlando and finished fourth in MVP voting in 2003, leading the league with two points.
“They didn’t know. No, they didn’t know,” McGrady said. “They didn’t know what I did in Orlando. I was doing something no one else was doing.
Now considered one of the greatest players in Magic history, it’s hard to imagine what a team of McGrady, Duncan, and a healthy Hill would look like.
Orlando will face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.
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