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“I want to do something that nobody’s done” — Tracy McGrady relished the first time he did his famous off-the-glass dunk

The 2002 All-Star game wasn't the first time Tracy McGrady pulled his iconic dunk off.
Tracy McGrady shares the first thing he did after he signed a deal with Adidas

Tracy McGrady

Tracy McGrady’s off-the-glass dunk in the 2002 All-Star game is always a part of his  NBA career highlights. Butut according to the man himself, the All-Star game wasn’t the first time he pulled the iconic dunk off.

T-Mac did it first

Some may not know, but McGrady “always wanted to be creative.” We’ve seen him polish a couple of lethal offensive moves and inject his style into it, but undeniably, the off-the-glass dunk was an authentic T-Mac signature move.

Relishing the formative stages of his famous dunk, McGrady said it was strategically created to break the frontcourt defense of the 2-3 zone during his high school days. In McGrady’s head, he could evade the bigs before they even come and try to contest him by throwing the ball off the glass and picking it up in mid-air. Of course, with his God-given leaping ability, T-Mac knew that he could get it done. Hence, the off-the-glass dunk was born.

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I’m a creative thinker, and I want to be the first to do something,” McGrady told Slam in June. “I want to do something that nobody’s done, especially on the NBA level. And when I was in high school, a team was playing a 2-3 zone, and I just got tired of the two guys [at the top] stopping me from penetrating to the basket. So I got pissed and I said, ‘I’m gonna split these two dudes, I’m gonna throw it off the glass and I’m gonna catch this off the glass and dunk It’.

After high school, McGrady followed in Kobe Bryant’s footsteps and leapfrogged other prospects straight to the NBA. Having been doing it in high school, T-Mac didn’t wait until the regular season to show his fancy dunk.

So when I get to the NBA, I wanna throw it off the glass against the best players in the world,” he continued. “… I’ve never seen this in an NBA game, right? Never seen this. We’re in Boston, preseason. Score is 2-0, us. Ball coming down. Kenny Anderson, Paul Pierce, right there. [I] Throw it up. I come out of nowhere. Bahhhh.

The story behind the iconic All-Star game dunk

When McGrady joined the Orlando Magic in 2000, he was already a master of the off-the-glass dunk. He didn’t pull it off in his first All-Star game in 2001, but it didn’t take long before he came up with the idea of doing it in front of the vast majority of hoops fans worldwide.

I see my teammates Troy Hudson, Pat Garrity, all of them going crazy. ‘Man, wouldn’t that be dope to do that at the All-Star Game with all the best players, with all the celebrities?,” McGrady recalled.

Apparently, that was all McGrady needed to hear. In the 2002 All-Star game in Philadelphia, T-Mac threw the ball off the glass again, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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