Tracy McGrady broke down a bet he made with a childhood friend of his on who would score more points between him and LeBron James.
LeBron James graced the cover of SportsIllustrated and was dubbed ‘The Chosen One’ as a mere junior in high school. This lone act serves as proof towards just how much hype he was shrouded in prior to playing a single basketball game at the professional level.
Of course, as we all know, James would go on to live up to said hype, winning Rookie of the Year and making the All-Star team in his sophomore season. However, when a player of LeBron’s caliber comes into the big leagues at his age, he’d surely have a target on his back from the elder statesmen. Tracy McGrady was one of these men.
McGrady had established as one of the most potent offensive players in the NBA by the time the 2003-04 season had rolled around. While he was off averaging anywhere between 28 and 32 points a night, his Orlando Magic squad was falling down the standings.
In a bid to perhaps make the season more interesting for the eventual 21-61 Magic, T-Mac made a bet with his childhood friend regarding LeBron James.
Tracy McGrady on his friend hilariously betting on LeBron James instead of him.
While LeBron James was still getting acclimatized to NBA defenses, he was putting up decent numbers in his first month as a rookie, averaging 16.8 points, 6.1 assists, and 6.7 rebounds a night. Coming into Christmas Day against the Orlando Magic, James had proven himself to be worthy of the number 1 pick that year.
With X-Mas Day games being heavily televised, Tracy McGrady made a bet with one of his childhood friends over who could score more: him or James? Hilariously, T-Mac didn’t have his buddy in his corner as he bet on the rookie to outscore him.
“One of my own childhood friends saying LeBron is going to out-score me. Bet. Bet. You think I’m going to let this young fella come into Orlando and out-do me? C’mon bro, you must out of your rabbit-a** mind. Never. Respect? Nah, you got to come get this work bro.”
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James would go off this night, scoring 34 points on 13-28 shooting from the field. McGrady on the other hand, would win both the scoring duel and the overall battle as he dropped 41 points and won the game for the Magic, 113-101.