Tracy McGrady Retires from the NBA After 16-Year Career

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2013

After narrowly missing out on his first NBA championship, 16-year NBA veteran Tracy McGrady has decided to hang up his sneakers for good. 

ESPN's First Take passes along the news: 

The 34-year-old McGrady started this past year playing basketball in China, but after his season overseas, he received a call from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Soon after, he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs, joining the team just in time for the postseason. 

His in-game opportunities with the Spurs largely came in garbage time. In fact, the biggest contribution T-Mac made was likely playing LeBron James at the Spurs' practices. 

This was a small role but a golden opportunity for a player who was once among the best in the league. Prior to this season, McGrady had infamously never won a playoff series. 

McGrady entered the NBA out of high school as the No. 9 overall selection by the Toronto Raptors. He made steady gains over his first three seasons and was dealt to the Orlando Magic prior to  his fourth season. Once in Orlando, McGrady blossomed into one of the NBA's best. 

Beginning with that 2000-01 season, he posted more than 20 points a game for the next eight seasons and over 25 points a game for the next five. His high point came in the 2002-03 season when he averaged 32.1 points per game.

Check out his spectacular scoring run:

While McGrady takes a lot of criticism for his lack of postseason success, as you can see, he was still putting up points. 

McGrady wasn't just about scoring either. With stunning athleticism for his 6'8" frame, he could rebound, handle and pass the rock. 

In that spectacular 2002-03 season, McGrady had a PER of 30.27, which is the 16th-best single-season mark in NBA history. 

McGrady wound up spending four seasons in Orlando before moving onto the Houston Rockets for five seasons and part of a sixth. From there, he bounced from the New York Knicks to the Detroit Pistons and then to the Atlanta Hawks, and his relevancy in the league diminished.

Then, he was off to China. 

In all, McGrady will finish his career having tallied 18,381 points, 5,276 rebounds and 4,161 assists in regular season NBA play. That currently has him as the 57th highest scoring player in NBA history. 

These numbers and his stretch of dominance certainly warrant consideration for the Hall of Fame, but he will undoubtedly have detractors who will question his lack of postseason success. 

Whether he enters the Hall or not, one thing is for certain. On Monday, we all watched one of the NBA's elite scorers walk away from the game.