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“Kobe, LeBron, Shaq...I'll never pick anybody over MJ” — Tracy McGrady bluntly settles the NBA GOAT debate

T-Mac also reflected on rings culture in the modern NBA, explaining why "rings aren't everything”
NBA legend Tracy McGrady and Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan

Tracy McGrady and Michael Jordan

Hailing the NBA GOAT is always subjective, and every player has their own take on it. There are many aspects and metrics to consider. However, some rely on dominance as the determinant of who’s the greatest to ever do it. And that’s exactly how seven-time All-Star and NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady sees it.

Different eras, different guys but MJ is still the man

During McGrady’s playing years in the league, the game was still played inside the paint, and Shaquille O’Neal used to dominate it. He rivaled Kobe Bryant and a soaring LeBron James. The firsthand experience T-Mac had with the aforementioned NBA stars was enough for him to put them up there on his GOAT list.

However, even though McGrady only played against a prime Michael Jordan during his rookie season with the Toronto Raptors, he still thinks MJ is the greatest, and nothing could change his stance.

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I think MJ is the greatest but in eras there are those that dominated their era… Kobe, LeBron, Shaq, [but] MJ is the greatest of all time,” McGrady said. “I’ll never pick anybody over MJ.

Where is T-Mac in the conversation?

Looking back, McGrady himself is not far from the likes of Kobe and MJ during his prime. In fact, he was even considered as arguably the most lethal scorer of his era at one point, and his two NBA scoring titles back it up. On the other hand, the other thing that people remember about T-Mac was his lack of ability to win.

Despite being a perennial All-Star, McGrady wasn’t able to win a single championship. And some fans conclude that his legacy was just all about scoring.

Nevertheless, T-Mac doesn’t see it that way. For McGrady, “rings aren’t everything,” and though he never managed to cop one back then, that doesn’t change a single thing about his legacy.

I was an All-NBA player, I led the lead in scoring, I was a top-selling athlete with Adidas, and I’m recognized in China,” McGrady pointed out. “Nothing in my life would have changed if I won a chip. Would I have wanted to win one? Of course!

With the game constantly evolving, we could expect more NBA superstars to possibly be included in GOAT talks. But don’t bother asking McGrady about it, as you’ll only get the same response over and over again.

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