Tracy McGrady was one of the very few players who actually gave Kobe Bryant a tough time on the basketball court.
During his career, Kobe Bryant played against several great players. However, there were only a few who could match the talent and intensity The Black Mamba played the game. One of those players who actually gave the Lakers legend a run for his money was Tracy McGrady.
T-Mac was one of the most explosive and gifted scorers in the league during his playing days. Despite sustaining several injuries throughout the course of his career, McGrady retired as a 7-time All-Star, 7 All-NBA player, 2 Scoring titles, got inducted into the Hall-Of-Fame, and was the “toughest player” Kobe ever played against.
After his retirement, Kobe named Tracy as the “toughest guy” Bryant ever played against.
“Toughest guy I ever played against. So I mean there’s a lot of guys but the guy that always gave me the most problems actually was Tracy McGrady.
Yeah yeah, something about Tracy McGrady with his, you know, he had all the skills and all the athleticism but he was 6-9 and he was really really tight to figure out.”
“Tracy McGrady could do everything I could”: Kobe Bryant
In several instances, Bryant tipped his hat to McGrady. Apart from calling him the hardest player Kobe ever guarded, the Mamba even stated that the combo-guard “had no weaknesses in his game”.
“He could do everything I could, but he was 6’10. He had no weaknesses in his game, he could score from anywhere and defend. He’s the hardest player I have ever had to guard.”
“The guy that always gave me the most problems was Tracy McGrady…He could do everything I could do but he was taller.” – Kobe Bryantpic.twitter.com/T12urxVrCV
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 24, 2021
The two sensational players went at it 21 times during their careers. Not only did Kobe win more games (14-7), but he also outscored (26.9-17.9), outrebounded (5.4-4.8), out-assisted (5.3-4.8), and out-stole the ball (1.4-0.8) than Tracy.
Without a doubt, Kobe Bryant is one of the best to have played the games. And if he believed Tracy McGrady was a problem, in that case, we ought to give the former Rockets legend his flowers.