“No Tracy McGrady, you did not deserve the MVP over Tim Duncan”: Shaquille O’Neal puts an end to T-Mac’s argument about 2003 MVP snub on his podcast

Akash Murty
|Published 25/02/2022

Shaquille O’Neal completely shuts down Tracy McGrady who says he was snubbed for the MVP award in 2002-03.

Tracy McGrady is, without doubt, one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. Ask any legends of the game from his era and they will all tell you the same story. The man was absolutely unstoppable in his heyday.

He played for the Toronto Raptors for the first 3-years since in draft in 1997, where he showed the potential of being a star in his last season. But what came after his move to the Orlando Magic was just awe-inspiring.

In the next 7 seasons, he averaged over 26 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.5 steals, leading the league in scoring in two consecutive seasons in 2002-03 and 03-04’.

Also read: “Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and… DeMar DeRozan?”: The Bulls star becomes only the 7th player in NBA history to record 8 straight 35-point games

McGrady averaged 32.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.7 steals, shooting 45% from the field in 75 games in the 2002-03 season. He led the Magic to the eighth seed in the East to close the regular season at 42-40.

And he believes he should have won the MVP that year over Tim Duncan.


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Tracy McGrady believes he should have won MVP in 03’, Shaq says NO!

On The Big Podcast with Shaq, the 7x All-Star started a discussion on how he carried the Magic to the eighth-seed in the East while averaging 32.1 points per game with no All-Stars at his side and so he deserved the MVP that year. To which The Diesel asks T-Mac who won it that year.

“I think Tim Duncan got it that year,” McGrady said. “You take him off of the Spurs, they still make the playoffs because they were that great.”

The 3x Finals MVP then completely shuts down McGrady saying how Duncan was pivotal to the Spurs that season, arguing that Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and the rest of the 2003 squad lived off Duncan’s play and presence.

“No, they don’t,” O’Neal said. “A lot of those guys got their success off of him. He got doubled, he’s kicking it out to Ginobili. They win games but they don’t make the playoffs. They lived off of Mr. Duncan getting doubled. If you take Tim off that team, they don’t have the same success.”

Even if we keep the Finals aside, Duncan’s 02-03’ regular season was just incredible. He averaged 23.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 2.9 blocks while shooting 51% in 81 games. San Antonio finished with a 60-22 regular-season record.

Also read: “The one thing that bothers me is I would’ve been the Finals MVP”: Draymond Green believes he would have been on the NBA’s 75th-anniversary team, hadn’t it been for his altercation with LeBron James in the 2016 NBA Finals 

McGrady tried dismissing Shaq’s argument saying how Duncan had two All-Stars making life easier for him on the court, while he had none in Orlando.

But had McGrady won the award we would be asking why Tim Duncan didn’t win it? He was clearly the league’s most dominant player on both sides of the court that season. He also won the Finals MVP that year while leading the Spurs to their 2nd championship.

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About the author
Akash Murty

Akash Murty

An Electrical and Electronics Engineer by degree, Akash Murty is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. Previously a Software Engineer, Murty couldn’t keep himself away from sports, and his knack for writing and putting his opinion forward brought him to the TSR. A big Soccer enthusiast, his interest in basketball developed late, as he got access to a hoop for the first time at 17. Following this, he started watching basketball at the 2012 Olympics, which transitioned to NBA, and he became a fan of the game as he watched LeBron James dominate the league. Him being an avid learner of the game and ritually following the league for around a decade, he now writes articles ranging from throwbacks, and live game reports, to gossip. LA Lakers are his favourite basketball team, while Chelsea has his heart in football. He also likes travelling, reading fiction, and sometimes cooking.

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