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Tracy McGrady's valuable scoring lesson from Steve Smith: "Grab people by the wrist"

steve smith & tracy mcgrady

Tracy McGrady is one of the most explosive scorers in NBA history. The man was crowned scoring champion in 2003 and 2004 and was a three-level scorer who would surely succeed in any era.

His elite scoring is a combination of talent and sheer hard work. It's easy to imagine McGrady staying up late after team practice to put up some extra shots. Apart from his gifts and perseverance, McGrady's scoring prowess is a product of the advice he received from his elders. One of the players who gave him a valuable scoring lesson was Steve Smith.


"Smitty was schooling me, he was teaching me while giving me the business. He used to grab my wrist all the time to get by me. I didn't know what the hell he was doing. I was like 'Bro what are you doing to get by me? Honestly, I'm quicker than you, you're not that quick. How are you doing it?," McGrady said, per The Big Podcast with Shaq.

Fortunately for McGrady, Smith wasn't one of those veterans who kept their tricks locked in a safe. While at the free-throw line, Smith taught McGrady the dreaded grab-a-wrist technique — a trick that McGrady would utilize his entire career.

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"There was one time at the free-throw line, he actually taught me how to grab people's wrists and get by. He taught me the trick and I used that my whole career. He was the master at that."

Perfect form

Smith was just one of those crafty scorers in the NBA. He has that picture-perfect jump shot which is practically money from deep or midrange. He's also an excellent finisher around the ring. During his prime, dropping 20 points was a walk in the park.

As a shooting guard, he was matched up a lot with none other than Michael Jordan. MJ got the best of him. But Smith held his own. He wasn't afraid to take Jordan to the low-block and use his moves against him. Smith wasn't as solid on the defensive end. Yet he was good enough to force Jordan into tough shots.

McGrady should be given a pat on the back for giving credit where it's due. History tells us that McGrady is way up there in the rankings of the greatest scorers ever. But T-Mac's little story reminds us to pay homage to history — to the people who paved the way.

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