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Tracy McGrady on how competing against Kobe Bryant made him realize he belongs in the NBA

Tracy McGrady & Kobe Bryant

T-Mac admits going up against Kobe Bryant was the thing that elevated his game

Tracy McGrady believes being able to compete against Kobe Bryant and being at one point equally good as he was made him realize he belongs in the NBA.

Kobe helped him realize he belongs in the NBA

NBA legend Tracy McGrady was at one point the best pure scorer in the league and had a streak where for a few years in a row was constantly in the conversation as the best player. After McGrady was traded from the Toronto Raptors to the Orlando Magic, his career took a significant shift in the right direction because he could showcase what he was capable of in the NBA.

In the early '00s, T-Mac was one of those young stars that were seen as the next big thing in the NBA, and McGrady had an incredibly well-rounded and polished game at an early age. However, he admits going up against Kobe Bryant was the thing that elevated his game the most because he was the one who set the bar for everyone else at that position in the NBA.

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McGrady looked up to Kobe because they both had a similar path to the NBA straight out of high school. In his interview with Draymond Green, McGrady reveals why Bryant was so important to his development as a player and a competitor.

"I think competing against Kobe around that time and holding my own because Kobe was in his 5th year, and he was that dude. That is that number 8 with the frow. He is the bar, and if I am competing against him every night I belong there, this is what it is. It's just staying focused, sacrificing, and really understanding these folks really counted on me."

Their careers went in different directions

At one point in their careers, some fans and analysts would even argue McGrady was a better player than Kobe Bryant, and they wouldn't be wrong in making that assessment. T-Mac was one of the most skilled players in the league, and with his combination of height, speed, athleticism, and skill set, he was superior to pretty much any guard or forward in the league.

Unlike Kobe's career that was full of success in winning playoff games and championships, McGrady is one of those players that never had any real success in the postseason, never winning a title. McGrady finally had the team to make it far when he joined the Houston Rockets, but injuries were always a problem and definitely cut his career shorter than anybody expected.

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