Houston Rockets: Why Tracy McGrady deserved to be a Hall of Famer

HOUSTON - APRIL 19: Tracy McGrady
HOUSTON - APRIL 19: Tracy McGrady /

Despite what the naysayers may think, Houston Rockets legend Tracy McGrady deserves his spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Friday, Sep. 8, 2017 will always be remembered as a red-letter date as Houston Rockets legend Tracy McGrady was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

He opened his speech telling a story about him and his wife, CleRenda McGrady, riding an elevator during year’s NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans. McGrady said that his wife told him to look into the elevator’s minor and cite to himself, “I belong in the Hall of Fame.”

Similar to some people, it crazy to know that McGrady also had doubts about his place in the Hall.

Like McGrady said, when thinking about the Hall, most people think of the greatest like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. These are players who not only transcended the game but won several rings in the making.

While McGrady didn’t win at the highest level, his place in the Hall is just as worthy as all the other trend-setters.

In addition, the Houston Rockets gave him a befitting tip-of-the-cap:


From 2000-08, McGrady showcased his lethal offensive and defensive skills that turned him from a high school prep into one of the best players of his generation. While leading the league in scoring, it was a legitimate debate over who was the better player. Tracy McGrady or Kobe Bryant?

Despite rising to NBA stardom with the Orlando Magic McGrady’s career would reach Hall-of-Fame status as a member of the Houston Rockets.

Thirteen years ago, the Houston Rockets made a blockbuster trade acquiring the two-time scoring champ from the Orlando Magic. Teaming McGrady alongside the 7’6″ center Yao Ming made them one of the most lethal duos in the league.

Although some fans consider the McGrady-era a disappointment, it’s mostly due to the Rockets playoff failures, and his untimely injuries. Yet, in retrospect of T-Mac’s five-year tenure, there is no denying his star production or the heart and soul he consistently gave to the team and city.

During his time in Houston, McGrady led the Rockets to four seasons of 50-plus wins. As a result that represents the most 50-win seasons in the post-Hakeem Olajuwon era, which ended in 2001. Furthermore, in four of his five seasons, he continued his streak of averaging no less than 21 points per game. Including his time with the Magic, T-Mac accomplished that feat in eight consecutive seasons.

Only Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant have higher points per game averages than McGrady from 2001-2008. T-Mac’s 22.7 points per game are the third-highest average in Rockets history.

Take a look at this crazy mix tape:

Not only was McGrady Houston’s primary scorer, but he often was tasked as the primary shot creator for his teammates. T-Mac’s 5.6 assists per game average ranks sixth all-time in Rockets history.  Although his rebounding numbers dropped off a little in Houston, McGrady was a solid rebounder at 5.5 per game.

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If his regular season numbers were not enough to solidify McGrady’s dominance in Houston, then maybe his postseason stats will. It’s heartbreaking that he could never get out of the first round, yet his playoffs stats are especially remarkable.

He did everything possible to win, but McGrady never had enough talent to help him advance. Prior to 2012, he once ranked in the top 10 in playoffs history, averaging 27.3 points per game.

In his first playoff series with the Rockets, T-Mac was nothing short of phenomenal. He averaged an astonishing 30.7 points, 6.7 assists, and 7.4 rebounds per game in a losing effort against the Dallas Mavericks. Even as the Utah Jazz eliminated the Rockets in 2007 and 2008, McGrady’s play was still sensational, averaging 26.1 points, 7.0 assist, and 7.1 rebounds.

If these moments don’t resonate consider this list of accomplishments:

  • 12-time weekly award winner
  • Four-time monthly award winner
  • Finished in the Top Eight of MVP award shares six times
  • First team All-NBA twice
  • Second team All-NBA thrice
  • Third team All-NBA twice
  • Finished Top 10 in field goals six times
  • Top Five three point field goals twice
  • Four-time Top Nine free throws made
  • Finished in the Top Eight in points scored six times
  • Finished in the Top 10 of points per game six times
  • First overall in points per game twice
  • Top Three in Player Efficiency Rating, four times, achieving 1st one time
  • 29th All-Time in Player Efficiency Rating in Career
  • Three times in Top 10 of Win Percentage
  • Six times in the Top 10 of Value Over Replacement Player

Next: Seven reasons why the Rockets should have more titles

For 16 years, this seven-time All-Star gave his all on the court, and judging his career based off of injuries and playoff success is unfair. Given his list of impressive accomplishments, McGrady deserved his spot in the Hall-of-Fame.

Congratulations T-Mac!