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“We were robbed from seeing greatness” — Tracy McGrady on playing with Grant Hill

One of the greatest what-ifs in the NBA was what could have been had a healthy Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill played together in Orlando.
Houston Rockets guard Tracy McGrady and Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill

Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady

Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill are two of the biggest what-ifs in NBA history - unfortunately, injuries got in the way. When they teamed up in Orlando, more than a few people started talking about "the next MJ - Pip duo." T-Mac didn't go that far but agreed it could've been very, very special.

“We were robbed from seeing greatness”

McGrady and Hill played in Orlando Magic in 2000, and the hype was over the tap. Hill was an All-Star five times in six seasons with the Detroit Pistons. Meanwhile, T-Mac spent three seasons in Toronto, increasing his point production every year he was there. In his first year in Orlando, McGrady became an All-Star and averaged 26.8 points; quite the jump from 15.4 points a year before. However, things didn’t go according to plan.

Injuries mired Grant Hill’s stint in Orlando. He only played 48 games in four seasons there. While TMac’s numbers went up, the opposite happened to Hill’s production. His scoring went from 25.8 per game to 13.8 in his first season in Orlando.

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The duo reached the playoffs three times but failed to get out of the first round. In a Club Shay Shay podcast episode, Tracy opened up about that time and if it's still on his mind. 

“We were robbed from seeing greatness. Hill was such a great talent, a surreal player. He had it all bro. And it’s unfortunate we never got the opportunity to play with each other consistently. And I know deep down in my heart, if he was healthy, I would have competed for a championship in my years in Orlando.”

Tracy McGrady, Club Shay Shay

The feeling is mutual

The feeling was mutual. Years ago, as one of the contributors on Open Court, Hill talked about McGrady's potential that he thinks even T-Mac didn't understand. 

“I didn't think he was that good. I didn't know he was that good. I don't think he knew he was that good. We think of Tracy McGrady as a scorer, but I think he could do everything.”

Grant Hill, Open Court

Both guys could basically play 1 through 4. They could have complemented each other’s game so well - think Jayston Tatum and Jalen Brown. Unfortunately, we'll never find out.

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