If there’s a list made for all the talented superstars who have never won an NBA title, Tracy McGrady would top it. McGrady was an immensely talented athlete, who made his presence known right from his rookie season in the league. But for every rookie, there will be an experienced player to show him the light and his way around the team. For T-Mac, it was a much-needed experience.
The 1997 NBA Draft saw a young Tracy McGrady being picked ninth overall by the Toronto Raptors. After going through a tough rookie year, T-Mac improved his work ethic and made waves as a teenager alongside his Lakers friend, Kobe Bryant.
Even though he endured a painful first year with the Raptors, McGrady was just not left to fend for himself. There were teammates who stuck up for him in the team, which boosted McGrady’s confidence on a large level. The Hall of Famer mentioned about his savior during tough times in a recent appearance on ‘All The Smoke’ podcast.
Tracy McGrady hails the person who helped him the most in his rookie season
Speaking to Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson about the person who helped him the most in his first year, the seven-time All-Star jogged down memory lane and picked the name of Doug Christie. “A man who helped me out the most is Doug Christie bro. I love Doug. I played Doug one-on-one every day,” McGrady began.
The 40-year-old mentioned their duels, and said they could be extremely competitive. “We were just going at each other, man. And that’s how I was working on my one-on-one game and building my confidence up because he was a great defender. He was a hell of a center. And to go up against him every day, I’ll be ready for whatever.”
T-Mac credits Christie for helping him improve his game, which reached impressive standards in just a few years. Christie and McGrady played together with the Raptors for three years before simultaneously leaving the team in 2000.
Upon leaving the Raptors, McGrady went on to play for six more NBA teams in his career. But he failed to achieve his dream of winning the championship. However, T-Mac’s stellar game and work ethic will always be a point in his favor.