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The Biggest Underachiever In NBA History
That title should indisputably be awarded to one particular player
Entering the NBA after graduating from high school, McGrady eventually established himself as one of the top players in the league, credentialing in prestigious and remarkable individual achievements, as a seventh time All-Star and leading the league in scoring in 2003 and 2004.
McGrady leads all active players, and is fourth all time in post season points per game (28.5 ppg), despite being criticized for never leading his teams out of the first round of the playoffs.
Following four seasons with Orlando Magic, McGrady couldn't propel the franchise further than anticipated, while claiming, in order to achieve team success, rolling with decent players decisively navigates you towards a winning direction. Opportunity struck, on June 29, 2004, the former Magic player was dealt to Houston to line up alongside another All-Star, Yao Ming. Imminently, title aspirations grew leaps and bounds, expectations were incredibly high.
In the T-mac/Yao era, Rockets solidified their roster(s) by assembling respectable pieces (Battier, Scola, Alston, B.Wells, L.Head and J.Howard) throughout the years, around the core of their formidable duo.
Houston had amassed an average of 54 regular season wins, on road to their fourth playoff appearance. Three out of those four playoff appearances, McGrady and the Rockets tasted three straight first round defeats and the final remaining one, which they finally cracked the Eastern Conference Semi Finals with Yao leading the way, McGrady was sidelined with an injury before the 2008-09 regular season had concluded. Well Yao accomplished something beyond McGrady could ever muster at providing.
Tracy McGrady inexplicably failed to lead any of his teams past the first phase of the playoffs.
Aided by quality ingredients with an effective team chemistry bolstered some hope every year for T-Mac to launch his Rockets into deeper space. Relishing for the moment on leaping over the next hurdle never materialized, as the honeymoon with the Rockets ended via trade in 2010. Proving critics right all along that he indeed was suffering from the dreaded tin-man syndrome.
When pressure and poor shot selection being the 1 - 2 punch culprits mount, a monumental disparity inflicts on his team at the utmost critical stages of the game.
Take a look below at some of T-Mac's notable downfall moments
Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets - 2007 Playoffs
- Game 3 Utah 81 - Houston 67 / T-Mac - 24 p 9/23 in the entire game (3/12 shooting in the second half).
- Game 4 Utah 98 - Houston 85 / T-Mac - 18 p 6/18 in the entire game (0 points in the 4th quarter).
- Game 6 Utah 94 - Houston 82 / T-Mac - 26 p 8/23 in the entire game (1/5 shooting in the second half).
Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets - 2008 Playoffs
- Game 4 Utah 86 - Houston 82 / T-Mac - 23 p 9/25 in the entire game (made only one f/g on a lay-up in the 4th quarter).
- Game 6 Utah 113 - Houston 91 / T-Mac - 29 p 13/25 in the entire game (3/10 shooting in the second half).
Winning wise, there hasn't been a superstar who has underachieved more than Tracy McGrady; considering, the best opportunities he had with a stellar Rocket team at the peak of his career. He was set in a nice position to thrive and rightfully should have embarked on a more joyful journey, rather than the infamous path he plunged and settled into.
Sixteen years and never to advance beyond the first round of the Play-Offs. Implosion of this magnitude would be unacceptable, unprecedented, mind-boggling, criminal, outrageous, you name it. To put it all in perspective, it was a failure on an epic scale. Doubtfully we'll ever witness another tragedy subsiding below the catastrophic ruins once established by McGrady.