Tracy McGrady is officially a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. McGrady was enshrined on Friday night during the Hall’s official induction ceremony, alongside Rebecca Lobo, Bill Self, and Jerry Krause, among others. It’s always a cool ceremony, and this year was no exception, with McGrady headlining the class and giving one heck of a speech. You can view the entire thing right here.
At one point, McGrady made it a point to show his appreciation for a number of people who helped him get enshrined in Springfield. He thanked the basketball organizations and coaches he played for — singling out Doc Rivers and Butch Carter — along with the fans who supported him throughout his career.
McGrady then dove into his teammates, saying that while he’s thankful for all of them, he needed to shout out a few in particular — Yao Ming, Dikembe Mutombo, Grant Hill, Darrell Armstong, Doug Christie, Vince Carter, Dee Brown, Charles Oakley, Muggsy Bogues, Kevin Willis, Jermaine O’Neal, Dell Curry, and Antonio Davis. He then thanked Jeff Van Gundy, who he called “the realest coach I ever played for,” along with a pair of former coaches, Johnny Davis and Jim Thomas.
He ended by thanking legendary footwear executive Sonny Vaccaro and his wife, Pam. McGrady got emotional as he re-told the story of attending the legendary ABCD All America Camp, a showcase for the best high school players in the country. While McGrady entered as an unknown, he left as the hottest recruit in America.
“Back in 1996, going to that camp, being the last guy to enter this camp, and you give me that jersey, 175,” McGrady said. “One seventy five. Nobody had a clue who Tracy McGrady was. You gave me that platform and I played against the best players in the world at that time, and I left that camp the No. 1 player in the nation. From 175 to number one, thank you Sonny and Pam.”
Something like this happens at the Hall of Fame ceremony every year, but there’s something so cool about watching basketball legends get moved to tears because they appreciate the people who helped them get to this point.