Tracy McGrady shares what it was like receiving a sponsorship deal with Adidas worth $12 million when he was still a senior in high school. That deal changed his entire life and his family's life but was also a valuable life lesson for McGrady he would never forget.
Getting 500k in cash
Former NBA player and an absolute legend of the game, Tracy McGrady made a guest appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast, in which he discussed multiple things from his career and personal life. McGrady, just like Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant, belonged to that group of players from the 90s that came to the NBA directly from high school, which was an impressive feat in its own right.
On top of that, while still in high school, T-Mac signed a pretty lucrative deal with Adidas worth approximately $12 million, and he was the first NBA athlete able to accomplish something like that at such an early age. T-Mac also shared a funny story related to that Adidas deal doing something most teenagers would think about doing if they were in his position. McGrady pulled out half a million dollars from the bank because he wanted to see what it looked like in real life.
"The crazy thing is that when I signed a deal, I wanted to see what half a million dollars looked like in cash. I had that pulled out, and I just had it sitting on my bed, just rolling around thinking, damn bro, this is real."
After fulfilling his fantasy of having so much cash in one place, McGrady soon did the right thing and took care of his parents so that they didn't have to work ever again. McGrady came from an underprivileged situation surrounded by gangs and drugs and said things could have turned differently for him if he didn't have supportive parents who raised him the right way.
"Where I come from, I grew up in Florida, and it was the biggest drug hole in the county. If it wasn't for the structure that I had within my house, who knows, I probably would have deviated from the course, and growing up in the hood; you see crack heads all the time. So for me, at 18 years old, to retire my parents at an early age. The impact on my life and my family, nothing can supersede that, nothing. I wasn't just satisfied in getting to the league, and I wanted more."
Even though there were a lot of questions marks considering his ability to transition to the NBA from high school, McGrady soon proved he was one of the best and most versatile scorers in the NBA. Unfortunately, he never had any significant success in the postseason, and his career was cut short due to injuries. However, this specific anecdote is wholesome because it tells a story of a kid that dreamt of becoming an NBA player one day and didn't let the riches spoil him or his personality. Instead, he kept his head on his shoulders and continued to work hard while taking care of the people closest to him.