While appearing as an analyst on ESPN’s The Jump, Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady had discussed the possibility of teaming up with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in LA during his initial years in the NBA.
Tracy McGrady was one of the most successful guards in the NBA during the late 90s. Drafted by the Toronto Raptors, T-Mac averaged 19.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 1.2 SPG on a 43.5% shooting during his career.
Such was his talent that former Lakers GM Jerry West wanted him to join the LA Lakers. The 2x scoring champion would have been an ideal fit alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
Kobe and T-Mac though arch-rivals on the court, enjoyed a great friendship outside the basketball world. The Black Mamba had stated on several occasions that McGrady was one of the toughest players for him to guard.
The guy that always gave me the most problems was Tracy McGrady. He had all the skills and all the athleticism, but he was 6’9″.
– Kobe Bryant.
Kobe Bryant praising Tracy McGrady for 2 minutes and 3 seconds pic.twitter.com/5WBRagkfW4
— KBs GOAT (@KbsGoat) May 25, 2021
McGrady believed teaming up with the iconic duo of Kobe and Shaq would help him greatly from a developmental point of stand as a player. T-Mac believed his role on the team would be similar to that of Scottie Pippen on the Bulls.
During an episode of ESPN’s First Take host, Rachel Nichols floated the idea of what would have happened if T-Mac would have joined the Lakers during the Kobe-Shaq era.
Former Lakers GM Jerry West tooled around the idea of drafting Tracy McGrady.
Jerry West was mightily impressed with McGrady’s workouts and had tried to pull some strings to draft him to the LA Lakers. West was willing to great lengths to have the T-Mac on the roaster and willing to sacrifice as well.
However, West couldn’t materialize the plan. T-Mac teaming up with Kobe and Shaq would have been a nightmare for the rest of the teams in the NBA.
It would have been an ideal situation for T-Mac since the only thing missing from his Hall of Fame resume was a championship ring.
The 7x All-Star was willing to sacrifice on the offensive end, playing the role of distributor among Kobe and Shaq.
During the show, T-Mac was seen lamenting the idea since he had never won a championship. Co-panelist David Fizdale added some salt to McGrady’s wound stating the Laker’s would have probably won 6-7 championships if he was on the roaster.