The Orlando Magic have had a few All-Time players don the signature pinstripes. Included in that list is Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Tracy McGrady.
After starting his career as a sixth man with high potential for the Toronto Raptors, Tracy McGrady entered the free agent market in the summer of 2000. McGrady made his mark on the NBA as the go-to-guy for the Orlando Magic. However, it was not planned that way. McGrady signed on with the Orlando Magic after getting word that All-Star, Grant Hill would also be joining the Magic. The talented duo would then be used to coax a third blossoming star in Tim Duncan to leave the San Antonio Spurs. Duncan ultimately ended up resigning with the Spurs and Hill never fully recovered from an ankle injury suffered the prior season.
With Duncan out of the picture and Hill on the shelf indefinitely, McGrady had to do the heavy lifting. With no other stars on the team, McGrady flourished into a Superstar. He earned the NBA Most Improved Player award after his first season with the Magic. He also led the league in scoring his final two seasons in Orlando. During McGrady’s four year stretch with the Magic it was debatable whether he or Kobe Bryant was the best player in the entire NBA.
Let’s take a look at McGrady’s top 5 performances as a member of the Orlando Magic.
5. March 28, 2001 versus the Philadelphia 76ers (44 points, 6 assists, 9 rebounds)
Tracy McGrady showed why the Magic chose to give him the keys to the franchise. He tied his career high in points at 44 — a mark he set the month prior. McGrady also tallied his first game winning shot on a drive to the basket.
4. March 8, 2002 versus the Washington Wizards (50 points, 3 assists, 10 rebounds, 2 steals)
McGrady had many of his best games against the Washington Wizards. This game was no different. After playing on the road for 6 straight games Mcgrady returned home to Orlando and dropped his first 50 point game. T-Mac scored 15 of his points in the fourth quarter leading the Magic to a 99 – 96 victory.
3. February 23, 2003 versus the New Jersey Nets (46 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds)
McGrady put up his second career triple double in a 113 – 105 win over the New Jersey Nets. This was his only triple double for the season and it came exactly one year from his first career triple double.
2. February 23, 2003 versus the Philadelphia 76ers (22 points, 11 assists, 11 rebounds, 4 steals)
McGrady notched his first career triple double versus Allen Iverson and the 76ers. The Magic ended up with an easy 105- 87 victory at home.
1. March 10, 2004 versus the Washington Wizards (62 points, 5 assists, 10 rebounds)
McGrady tallied a career high 62 points propelling the Magic to a 108 – 99 win over the Wizards. This amazing performance helped seal McGrady’s back to back scoring titles. This was also the only game McGrady eclipsed the 60 point mark for his career. All four of his seasons in Orlando ended up being in McGrady’s top five scoring years for his career. Needless to say, Tracy Mcgrady had some good years in Orlando.
McGrady continued his great career after being traded from the Magic, but his stardom began in Orlando. Becoming an All-Star, signature shoes and being a household name were products of McGrady putting the Orlando Magic on his back. McGrady will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and his years with the Magic are a big part of that.