Tracy McGrady says that he would rather have had the chance to play with Shaq over Kobe Bryant if he were ever given the chance.
The Los Angeles Lakers would have the history of their franchise altered in 1996 with them signing Shaquille O’Neal in free agency and drafting Kobe Bryant 13th overall all in the same summer. In merely 4 years together, the Lakers were back to their glory days of being the best team in the league with a title win over the Pacers.
They would go on to win two more against the Sixers and the Nets, respectively and establish themselves as perhaps the greatest 1-2 punch in NBA History. Regardless of the fallout between Kobe and Shaq, what they accomplished together in an 8-year span is forever etched in the annals of NBA history.
A man similar to Kobe Bryant in terms of pure offensive skill was Tracy McGrady. He would win the scoring title two years in a row and had everything from the drive-in power to Kobe’s fadeaways coupled with pull-up 3s on the regular.
However, McGrady never had the luxury of playing with an elite big man like Shaq until he got to Houston and played with Yao Ming. Plagued with injures, the Rockets never made it far in the Playoffs with T-Mac and Yao.
Tracy McGrady on playing with either Kobe Bryant or Shaq.
Tracy McGrady went on Shannon Sharpe’s ‘Club Shay Shay’ show recently and talked about everything from his potential postseason runs with a healthy Grant Hill to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s skill compared to the rest of league history.
When it came to the hypothetical of playing with either Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O’Neal, Tracy chose the latter. This makes sense as having two guys who could do exactly the same things on offense wouldn’t be as productive as having a 6’9 version of Kobe (in essence) team up with Shaq.
Tracy McGrady on who he’d rather play with between Kobe & Shaq:
“Shaq is the No. 1 choice always. It would’ve been nice to play with Kobe, but Shaq was so dominant…He could do a backflip.” pic.twitter.com/267cJKdult
— Club Shay Shay (@ClubShayShay) April 20, 2022
Tracy McGrady almost had a chance to play with an elite big-man who came in the form of Tim Duncan. However, any dealings between the Spurs and Magic fell through before the trade could materialize, leaving Tracy alone in Orlando.