McGrady with the Rockets in 2006
|Born||May 24, 1979|
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
|NBA draft||1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall|
|Selected by the Toronto Raptors|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
|Number||1, 3, 9|
|2010||New York Knicks|
|2012–2013||Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles|
|2013||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||18,381 (19.6 ppg)|
|Rebounds||5,276 (5.6 rpg)|
|Assists||4,161 (4.4 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. (born May 24, 1979) is an American former professional basketball player who is best known for his career in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he played as both a shooting guard and small forward. McGrady was a seven-time NBA All-Star, seven-time All-NBA selection, two-time NBA scoring champion, and one-time winner of the NBA Most Improved Player Award. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2017.
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men's professional basketball league in North America; composed of 30 teams. It is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.
The shooting guard (SG), also known as the two or off guard, is one of the five traditional positions in a regulation basketball game. A shooting guard's main objective is to score points for his team and steal the ball on defense. Some teams ask their shooting guards to bring up the ball as well; these players are known colloquially as combo guards. A player who can switch between playing shooting guard and small forward is known as a swingman. In the NBA, shooting guards usually range from 6' 3" to 6' 7" and 5' 9" to 6' 0" in the WNBA.
McGrady entered the NBA straight out of high school and was selected as the ninth overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 1997 NBA draft. Beginning his career as a low-minute player, he gradually improved his role with the team, eventually forming an exciting duo with his cousin Vince Carter. In 2000, he left the Raptors for the Orlando Magic, where he became one of the league's most prolific scorers and a candidate for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. In 2004, he was traded to the Houston Rockets, where he paired with center Yao Ming to help the Rockets become a perennial playoff team. His final seasons in the NBA were plagued by injuries, and he retired in 2013 following a brief stint with the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the San Antonio Spurs.
The NBA high school draftees are players who have been drafted to the National Basketball Association (NBA) straight out of high school without playing basketball at the collegiate level. The process of jumping directly from high school to the professional level is also known as going prep-to-pro. Since 2006, the practice of drafting high school players has been prohibited by the new collective bargaining agreement, which requires that players who entered the draft be 19 years of age and at least one year removed from high school. Contrary to popular belief, the player does not have to play at least a year in college basketball: the player can choose to instead play in another professional league like Brandon Jennings or Emmanuel Mudiay in Italy and China respectively; simply take the year off, as Mitchell Robinson and Darius Bazley did; or even hold themselves back a year in high school before declaring for the draft, like with Satnam Singh Bhamara or Thon Maker.
The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1995 as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada, the Raptors are the only Canadian-based team in the league. They play their home games at the Scotiabank Arena.
The 1997 NBA draft took place on June 25, 1997, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although the Boston Celtics had the second-worst record in the 1996–97 season and the best odds of winning the lottery with two picks, the Spurs, usually a model of winning and consistency, lost David Robinson and Sean Elliott to injury early in the season, finished with the third-worst record, and subsequently won the lottery. Leading up to the draft, there was no doubt that Tim Duncan would be selected at No. 1 by the Spurs, and the rest of the draft was regarded with some skepticism. The Celtics had the third and sixth picks, selecting Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer, both of whom were traded in the next two years.
Since retiring, McGrady has worked as a basketball analyst for ESPN. From April–July 2014, he realized his dream of playing professional baseball, pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
ESPN is a U.S.-based sports television channel owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%). The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Rasmussen and Ed Egan.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
The Sugar Land Skeeters are an American professional baseball team located in Sugar Land, Texas. The Skeeters play in the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), which is an independent league not affiliated with Major League Baseball. They have played their home games at Constellation Field since the beginning of the 2012 season.
McGrady was born on May 24, 1979, in Bartow, Florida, to Melanise Williford.His father was not a part of his everyday life, so Melanise raised McGrady with the help of her mother, Roberta, in Auburndale. As a youth, McGrady played high school basketball and baseball at Auburndale High School for three years before transferring to Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, North Carolina for his senior season. A relatively unknown player coming out of Florida, he made a name for himself after a strong performance at the Adidas ABCD Camp, an experience that helped McGrady recognize his true talent. He later reflected, "Nobody had a clue who Tracy McGrady was. Sonny Vaccaro gave me that platform, and I played against the best players in the world at that time. I left that camp the No. 1 player in the nation, 175 to No. 1." Behind his leadership, Mt. Zion emerged as the number two-ranked team in the country, and McGrady was named a McDonald’s All-American, national Player of the Year by USA Today , and North Carolina's Mr. Basketball by the Associated Press. Initially, McGrady considered playing college basketball at the University of Kentucky, but he ultimately decided to enter the NBA draft as he was a projected lottery pick.
Bartow is the county seat of Polk County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1851 as Fort Blount, the city was renamed in honor of Francis S. Bartow, the first brigade commander of the Confederate Army to die in combat during the American Civil War. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2000 Census, the city had a population of 15,340 and an estimated population of 16,959 in 2009. It is part of the Lakeland−Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 584,383 in 2009. As of 2018, the mayor of Bartow is Leo Longworth.
Auburndale is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 11,032 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S Census estimates of 2005, the city had a population of 12,381. It is part of the Lakeland–Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Auburndale High School is a four-year public high school located in Auburndale, Florida, and a part of Polk County Public Schools. The school serves about 1,600 students from ninth through twelfth grades. The minority rate is 37% and the free/reduced lunch rate is 49%.
McGrady was selected as the ninth overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 1997 NBA draft.For most of the 1997–98 season, he received little playing time, averaging only 13 minutes per game under head coach Darrell Walker. McGrady has described his rookie year as "hell", feeling lonely in Toronto and sleeping for up to 20 hours a day. Late in the season, Walker resigned, and McGrady began playing more under new coach Butch Carter, who agreed to increase McGrady's minutes on the condition that McGrady would improve his work ethic.
The 1997–98 NBA season was the Raptors' third season in the National Basketball Association. The Raptors selected high school star Tracy McGrady with the ninth overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft, and acquired second-year forward John Wallace from the New York Knicks in the offseason. However, the Raptors struggled posting a 17-game losing streak early in the season. Midway through the season, Damon Stoudamire was traded along with Walt Williams, and Carlos Rogers to the Portland Trail Blazers for Kenny Anderson, Gary Trent and rookie Alvin Williams. However, Anderson refused to play for the Canadian team and was dealt along with Popeye Jones, and Žan Tabak to the Boston Celtics for rookie Chauncey Billups and Dee Brown.
The 1997–98 NBA season was the 52nd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Chicago Bulls winning their third straight championship and sixth in the last eight years, beating the Utah Jazz 4 games to 2 in the 1998 NBA Finals. It also marked the departure of Michael Jordan and the end of the dynasty for the Chicago Bulls before Jordan returned in 2001 for the Washington Wizards. This was the last time that both NBA and NHL regular seasons ended on the same day.
Darrell Walker is an American professional basketball coach and retired player. He is currently head men’s coach at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. At 6'4" and 180 lb (82 kg), he played as a guard. He attended Chicago's Corliss High School.
Before the lockout-shortened 1998–99 season, the Raptors drafted McGrady's distant cousin, Vince Carter.The two became inseparable; teammate Dee Brown once said, "They say they're cousins... But Siamese twins is more like it." By the 1999–2000 season, the duo had developed a reputation for their athleticism, giving memorable performances at the All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest. McGrady, now playing significant minutes, was a contender for the Sixth Man of the Year Award before being elevated to Toronto's starting backcourt in late March. Behind McGrady and Carter's play, the Raptors finished the season with a 45–37 record, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. McGrady's final averages were 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and a career-high 1.9 blocks per game. In the first round of the postseason, the Raptors were swept by the New York Knicks.
The 1999 NBA season was the 53rd season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Due to a lockout, the season did not start until February 5, 1999, after a new six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. All 29 teams played a shortened 50-game regular season schedule and the 16 teams who qualified for the playoffs played a full post-season schedule. That season's All-Star Game was also canceled. The season ended with the San Antonio Spurs winning the franchise's first NBA championship, beating the New York Knicks 4 games to 1 in the 1999 NBA Finals. This was the 50th season since the BAA and NBL had merged into the NBA.
Vincent Lamar Carter is an American professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and plays both shooting guard and small forward. Carter is one of five players that have played an NBA-record 21 seasons. He is widely regarded as the greatest dunker of all time.
DeCovan Kadell "Dee" Brown is an American retired professional basketball player who spent twelve seasons (1990–2002) in the National Basketball Association (NBA), playing for the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and Orlando Magic.
Following Toronto's first-round exit, McGrady became a free agent, signing a six-year, $67.5 million contract with the Orlando Magic.He elected to join the Magic in part because he disliked his secondary role playing behind Vince Carter, in part so that he could return home to Florida, and in part to play with their other newly acquired free agent, Grant Hill. Hill would go on to play in only 47 games total throughout his tenure with the team, forcing McGrady into a more significant leadership and scoring role than anticipated.
During the 2000–01 season, McGrady defied the expectations of many,emerging as one of the best players in the NBA, with Milwaukee Bucks General Manager Ernie Grunfeld going so far as to call him "one of the top five talents in the league". McGrady's play earned him his first All-Star Game appearance and, behind averages of 26.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, he was selected to his first All-NBA Team, being named to the All-NBA Second Team. He was also voted the league's Most Improved Player. With a 43–39 record, the Magic entered the playoffs as the East's seventh seed, drawing a matchup with the Bucks. In Game 3 of the series, McGrady notched 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists in a performance that Bill Simmons later called McGrady's "superstar audition tape". Orlando was eventually eliminated by Milwaukee in four games.
For the 2001–02 season, McGrady averaged 25.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game, earning his second All-NBA Team selection, this time to the All-NBA First Team.During that year's All-Star Game, he completed one of the most memorable highlights of his career, throwing the ball off the backboard to himself and completing an alley-oop in traffic. At season's end, the Magic were again ousted in the first round of the playoffs, losing in four games to the Charlotte Hornets.
In 2002–03, McGrady won his first scoring title and, behind averages of 32.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game, finished a career-best fourth in NBA Most Valuable Player Award voting.ESPN later ranked his season one of the best ever for a perimeter player. In Game 1 of the playoffs, he scored 43 points to help Orlando take an early series lead against the top-seeded Detroit Pistons. The Magic would go on to take a commanding 3–1 lead, and McGrady made headlines when he prematurely assumed that Orlando were guaranteed to advance to the next round, replying in an interview, "It feels good to get in the second round." Despite holding the series lead, the Magic were eliminated in seven games.
The 2003–04 season was a tumultuous one for McGrady; Magic coach Doc Rivers was fired after a 1–10 start to the year and there were reports of friction between McGrady and Orlando General Manager John Weisbrod.Throughout the season, Orlando struggled because of a series of injuries, finishing the year with the worst record in the East despite McGrady winning his second consecutive scoring title. Late in the season, McGrady scored a career-high 62 points in a winning effort versus the Washington Wizards. His final averages were 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game.
On June 29, 2004, McGrady, Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue, and Reece Gaines were traded to the Houston Rockets as part of a seven-player deal that sent Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, and Kelvin Cato to the Magic.In response to the trade, McGrady stated that he was happy with the situation and expressed excitement over the prospect of playing alongside Rocket All-Star center Yao Ming. Shortly after arriving in Houston, McGrady signed a three-year, $63 million contract extension with the team.
The Rockets struggled to begin the 2004–05 season, posting a losing record of 16–17 through their first 33 games.In December, McGrady had one of the most memorable performances of his career, scoring 13 points in the final 35 seconds against the San Antonio Spurs to secure a comeback victory. The sequence included four consecutive three-pointers, one of which was part of a four-point play and the last of which was a game-winner in the final two seconds. After the All-Star break, Houston rebounded from their slow start, finishing the season with 51 wins and the third-best record in the West. McGrady's final averages were 25.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game. In Game 2 of the first round of the postseason, he had another signature performance, completing a "thunderous" dunk over 7'6" Dallas Mavericks center Shawn Bradley and hitting a game-winner for a 113–111 victory. The series would go to a decisive Game 7, where McGrady came out cold, missing his first seven shots en route to a 40-point loss.
The 2005–06 season was a disappointing one for the Rockets, as McGrady appeared in only 47 games due to injury.At various points during the year, he missed time due to back spasms, including a moment in January where he had to be carried off the court in a stretcher due to a severe flare up. Despite his health concerns, McGrady was able to play in that year's All-Star Game in front of his home crowd in Houston, exploding for 36 points in just 27 minutes. For the season, he averaged 24.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Due in part to his frequent absences, the Rockets failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Early in the 2006–07 season, McGrady missed seven games, again because of back spasms, eventually deciding to visit a doctor and receive treatment for the injury as he felt that it was affecting his speed and explosiveness.His health issues and the ascension of Yao Ming, who was having a breakout season, resulted in McGrady temporarily becoming the team's second scoring option. His final averages were 24.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game. To open the playoffs, the Rockets were matched up the Utah Jazz. By this time, pressure had started to mount on McGrady to lead the team deep into the postseason, to which he responded, "If we don’t get out of the first round, it’s on me!" Houston would eventually lose the series in seven games, and at his postgame press conference following the Game 7 defeat, McGrady, still visibly emotional from the loss, said "I tried, man, I tried."
In 2007–08, the Rockets went on a 22-game winning streak, the then-second longest in NBA history, despite missing Yao Ming during that stretch.During their run, McGrady expressed optimism over the team's roster, admitting, "I haven't had this kind of trust in my teammates before." Houston finished the season as the West's fifth seed, earning them a rematch with the Jazz in the first round. By the time the playoffs arrived, McGrady was nursing shoulder and knee injuries, at times requiring him to receive pain-killing injections and have fluid drained from both his shoulder and knee in order for him to be able to play. The Jazz again eliminated the Rockets, this time in six games, despite a strong 40-point and 10-rebound performance from McGrady in the decisive Game 6.
Following Houston's loss to Utah, McGrady underwent arthroscopic surgery on both his left shoulder and left knee.Early in the 2008–09 season, he missed 18 games, including a two-week stretch in January as his knee was not fully healed from his offseason surgery. On February 24, he had microfracture surgery in Chicago, forcing him to miss the remainder of the year. By then, his averages had declined to 15.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. In a surprise turn of events, the Rockets qualified for the playoffs without McGrady and advanced to the second round, pushing the eventual-champion Los Angeles Lakers to seven games.
McGrady was still recovering from surgery to begin the 2009–10 campaign.On December 15, he returned to action but was limited to only seven minutes off the bench. After six games, the Rockets decided to shut him down again so that they could focus on trading him to another team.
On February 18, 2010, McGrady was dealt to the Knicks as part of a three-team trade involving Houston, New York, and Sacramento.Two days later, he made his team debut, scoring 26 points in an overtime loss against the Thunder. He would finish the season with averages of 9.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 26.1 minutes per game. In 2010–11, he signed with the Detroit Pistons and averaged just 8 points per game, and in 2011–12, he signed with the Atlanta Hawks, averaging a career-low 5.3 points per game.
On October 9, 2012, McGrady signed a one-year deal with the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association.Qingdao finished the season in last place, with McGrady averaging 25 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Shortly after the conclusion of the CBA campaign, he signed with the San Antonio Spurs in time for him to qualify for their playoff roster. In 2015, McGrady's jersey number 1 was retired by Qindao. The Spurs eventually advanced to the 2013 NBA Finals, losing in seven games to the Miami Heat, which provided McGrady with the opportunity to play his first career postseason minutes outside of the first round.
On August 26, 2013, McGrady announced his retirement from the NBA on ESPN's First Take .
McGrady was selected to the United States men's national basketball team for the FIBA Americas Championship 2003 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.On August 22, McGrady led the Americans with 16 points in a 98–69 victory over Venezuela. McGrady sat out the August 26 game due to a back injury. The U.S. qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games on August 30 with an 87–71 win over Puerto Rico, where McGrady was involved in an altercation with Puerto Rico's Eddie Casiano, with fans throwing drinks and debris on the court when it happened. America eventually advanced to the gold medal game, where they defeated Argentina. For the tournament, McGrady averaged 12.6 points and 2.9 rebounds a game on 54.4 percent shooting overall and 42.1 percent three-point shooting.
Standing 6 feet 8 inches tall (2.03 m) and weighing 210 pounds (95 kg), McGrady played as a shooting guard and small forward. His career averages were 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. McGrady earned seven All-NBA honors (2001–05, 2007–08), seven All-Star selections (2001–07), two NBA scoring titles (2003–04), and won the NBA Most Improved Player Award in 2001. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2017.
McGrady was known for his laid-back demeanor and scoring prowess; he once scored 41 points in a game despite being asleep right until tip-off, a performance that inspired the nickname "The Big Sleep".Many of his contemporaries, including Paul Pierce, have called him one of the most difficult players that they ever had to guard. McGrady's playing style has been compared to George Gervin's because both players made scoring appear easy with their "smooth" approach to the game. At his peak, McGrady was an explosive player capable of finishing at the rim over the defense; in a piece for ESPN, Zach Lowe reminisced, "He glided through the lane, crouched into traffic, and accelerated suddenly -- almost violently -- through a forest of slower-moving forms, and to the rim." McGrady was also a threat from outside, and would frequently pull up for deep three-pointers over unsuspecting defenders. Some analysts have remarked that McGrady's length, playmaking, and shooting abilities would have made him more effective in the modern era of basketball, and that he was ahead of his time. On the defensive side of the ball, McGrady's effort was less consistent, but he demonstrated the ability to raise his level in meaningful games, such as during the playoffs against the Mavericks, where he often drew the assignment of guarding Dirk Nowitzki.
During his time as an All-Star, McGrady was frequently criticized for not having led any team beyond the first round of the playoffs.Some analysts have defended McGrady, feeling that he was the victim of bad rosters and unfortunate circumstances. His effort level, leadership, and toughness were also questioned at times. In response to these criticisms, former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy described McGrady as a poor practice player but praised his coachability, unselfishness, and ability to perform well in big games.
McGrady is often ranked as one of the greatest basketball players of all-time; The Book of Basketball ranked him 77th,ESPN ranked him 63rd, and SLAM Magazine ranked him 75th. In 2016, Sports Illustrated listed McGrady as one of the 20 best basketball players since the announcement of the original 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.
McGrady has three children with his wife, CleRenda Harris.Their first son, Laymen Lamar, was born on December 27, 2005, during a home game in Houston, which McGrady left at halftime. Tracy's younger brother, Chancellor "Chance" McGrady, played for the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball runner-up Memphis Tigers. McGrady and former teammate Vince Carter are distant cousins; after McGrady left the Raptors, they had a feud, but it was resolved in a short period of time.
In 2002, McGrady signed a longterm partnership with Adidas, agreeing to an endorsement deal that lasted through his playing career and beyond.Adidas produced a signature line of shoes for McGrady that Complex remembered as "all the buzz in the early-mid 2000's". Upon retiring, McGrady shifted his focus to his business investments, including Dasdak, a Washington, D.C.-based technology company, and Blue-04, a bottled water company in Florida. He was also an initial investor in a Minor League Baseball team which would become the Biloxi Shuckers. Since 2016, he has worked as an NBA analyst for ESPN.
In 2007, McGrady traveled to the Darfurian refugee camps in Chad with John Prendergast and Omer Ismail of the Enough Project.McGrady recruited NBA players to support an initiative linking schools in Darfurian refugee camps to American middle schools, high schools, and universities. During one of his final seasons with the Rockets, he changed his jersey number to #3 in order to promote his humanitarian efforts in the region and a documentary on his summer visit called 3 Points. In 2008, McGrady was criticized for his comments on the All-Star Game being held in New Orleans, only three years removed from the destruction surrounding Hurricane Katrina. McGrady publicly questioned the quality of public safety and protection of NBA players.
On February 4, 2014, McGrady confirmed that he was officially pursuing his dream of becoming a professional baseball player, working with Roger Clemens to become a pitcher for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. 1 2⁄3 innings, receiving the loss. In July, he started the Atlantic League All-Star Game, where he recorded his first strikeout. After the game, McGrady announced his retirement from baseball.On April 23, McGrady made the Skeeters' Opening Day roster. In his debut, he pitched
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|*||Led the league|
NBA statistics per Basketball Reference.CBA statistics per CBA Data Center.
Per McGrady's Basketball Reference page unless noted otherwise.
Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.
Yao Ming is a Chinese basketball executive and retired professional basketball player who played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight times, and was named to the All-NBA Team five times. At the time of his final season, he was the tallest active player in the NBA, at 2.29 m. He is the only player from outside of the United States to lead the NBA in All-Star votes.
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Kelvin T. Cato is an American retired professional basketball player.
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The 2001–02 NBA season was the 13th season for the Orlando Magic in the National Basketball Association. During the offseason, the Magic signed free agent All-Star center Patrick Ewing to their roster, while re-signing Horace Grant to further strengthen the team's depth. Early into the season, they traded Bo Outlaw to the Phoenix Suns for Jud Buechler. Tracy McGrady continued to emerge as a superstar as he finished fourth in the NBA in scoring with 25.6 points per game, and was selected for the 2002 NBA All-Star Game. However, McGrady would not have much help as Grant Hill's comeback was ended after just 14 games, as he had to get more surgery on his bad ankle. Despite Hill's injury, the Magic made it to the playoffs with a record of 44–38, third in the Atlantic Division. In the first round of the playoffs, they lost in four games to the Charlotte Hornets. Following the season, Ewing, Buechler and Dee Brown all retired, Troy Hudson signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Monty Williams signed with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 2003–04 NBA season was the 15th season for the Orlando Magic in the National Basketball Association. During the offseason, the Magic signed free agents Juwan Howard and Tyronn Lue. Injuries hamstrung the Magic from the start of the season as Grant Hill missed the entire season recovering from ankle surgery, while Pat Garrity was lost after just two games with a knee injury. The Magic started the season with an 85–83 win on the road against the New York Knicks. However, their season would go straight down right after as they lost their next 19 games costing head coach Doc Rivers his job. With replacement Johnny Davis taking over, the Magic never recovered from their losing streak as they lost thirteen straight near the end of the season, finishing last place in the Atlantic Division with a league-worst 21–61 record, the franchise's worst record since 1991–92.
Nikola Vučević is a Montenegrin professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the University of Southern California before being drafted 16th overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He received his first All-Star selection in 2019.
The 2004–05 NBA season was the Rockets' 38th season in the National Basketball Association, and their 34th season in the city of Houston. During the offseason, the Rockets acquired All-Star forward Tracy McGrady and Juwan Howard from the Orlando Magic, acquired All-Star center Dikembe Mutombo from the Chicago Bulls, who acquired him from the New York Knicks, and signed free agent Bob Sura. The Rockets struggled with a 6–11 start to the season, then played around .500 as they traded Jim Jackson to the New Orleans Hornets for David Wesley in late December. The Rockets would later on win eight straight games in February, as McGrady and Yao Ming were both selected to play in the 2005 NBA All-Star Game at Denver. At midseason, the team traded Maurice Taylor to the New York Knicks, and acquired Mike James from the Milwaukee Bucks.
Julius Deion Randle is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In his only season of college basketball with the Kentucky Wildcats, he was named a third-team All-American. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft with the seventh overall pick. In his regular-season debut, Randle broke his right leg and missed the remainder of his rookie season. After four years with the Lakers, he signed with the Pelicans.
Troy Daniels is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where in 2013, he set the Atlantic 10 Conference record for made three-point field goals in a single game.
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