Tracy McGrady once scored 13 points in 30 seconds against the San Antonio Spurs. It was one of the most breath-taking and amazing scoring performances in NBA history. The fact that it happened against the vaunted Spurs defense on national TV made it all the more amazing.
Things are perhaps coming full circle now. McGrady will try to get out of the first round for the first time in his career and join the Spurs for their Playoff run, signing a contract through the end of the season Tuesday with the Spurs.
At his peak, McGrady was an unstoppable scoring force and someone the defense had to pick up at midcourt. He would smoothly glide his way through defenses and pull up for a silky smooth jumper that no one could defend. He was breathtaking to watch.
Knee injuries sapped away his athletic ability and derailed his career in one of the most tragic cases of a body robbing a talented player and he faded into obscurity. Despite his willingness to play, no NBA team came calling this season after he averaged 5.3 points per game in about 16 minutes per game in 52 appearances with the Hawks last year.
It was clear McGrady was not the player he once was, but at 33, you figure he has to have something left in the tank.
This year, McGrady went to China where he played for the Qingdao Tigers and averaged 25.0 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game and 5.1 assists per game. He was named a CBA All Star this year. Clearly there is still some talent there.
Of course, the CBA is not the NBA. And it certainly is not NBA Playoff basketball. Because McGrady was not on a roster before March 1, he is eligible to play in the postseason.
San Antonio needs the re-enforcements with Stephen Jackson suddenly waived last week and injury questions surrounding Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw. San Antonio might have the second seed but the team is also limping into the postseason and has met disappointment in the last several postseasons. McGrady will be relied on to contribute at a very high level very quickly.
Who knows though, maybe McGrady can add one more glimpse of the player he used to be and finally accomplish some postseason glory.