Tracy McGrady was just the seventh player to go to the NBA as a high college draftee. However there was an exterior chance the he could have plied his profession at Kentucky first.
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In a current on the “All The Smoke” podcast, McGrady reiterated that Kentucky was “the” option for him initially. He described that he to be planning top top going to Kentucky, and also knew when he went to that it to be the pick for him.
“I wanted to go to college, i was going come Kentucky,” McGrady said, via CatsPause.com. “I take it my visit come Kentucky, Derek Anderson was my host. Then i said organize up, ‘this whereby I’m going, best here’ ns don’t want to go perform no much more visits. The player lounge, wherein they stay, whatever was plush. Ns said, ‘I’m coming. Ns don’t want no much more visits. This is wherein I’m going."”
But McGrady revealed the the tipping allude came as soon as he gained an offer from Adidas. His agent The apparel agency offered the a six-year, $12 million contract, and McGrady stated his university dream “went the end the window” ~ that.
“Time walk by, I’m playing my season, my name’s gaining stronger, I’m sit in mine coach’s office. He’s like, ‘I recognize you want to go to Kentucky, I understand you want to go to college but after i tell you this you’re going come forget all around it,"” McGrady said. “He’s like, ‘I obtained a $12 million transaction for you.’ ns said, ‘from who?’ the said, ‘from Adidas. They desire to offer you 6 years, $12 million.’ My college dream went the end the window and that was it.”
McGrady ultimately went to the NBA straight out the high school. He wound up going No. 9 overall to the Toronto Raptors in the 1997 draft, but became a superstar with the Orlando Magic and also Houston Rockets.
His 17-year pro career consists of seven All-Star appearances, 2 NBA scoring titles, many All-NBA selections, and a yellow medal because that Team USA in ~ the 2003 FIBA americas Championship.
Kentucky ultimately didn’t need McGrady though. They winner the NCAA Championship in 1998 under head coach Tubby Smith.
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Even so, it’s quite wild to think about what those late-90s Kentucky teams could have looked prefer if they had Tracy McGrady joining forces with the likes the Scott Padgett, Wayne Turner, or even Tayshaun Prince.