Tracy McGrady, the Hall of Fame and other thoughts on recent news

If you’re coming from Basketball-Reference, I apologize. This is two months old and just a test of the Player Linker tool. For my most recent postings, check out the RSS feed on the right. If you still want to read this one, you have a place in my heart. Probably.

Tracy McGrady calls it a career

Here’s my favorite commercial of Tracy McGrady:

If only the same forces kept me away from the ice cream in my freezer.

The Twitterverse has been buzzing about Tracy McGrady’s retirement and, most interestingly to me, whether or not one of the best shooting guards of the post-millennium NBA is a Hall of Famer.

The standards for what is and isn’t a Hall of Fame-caliber player can be confusing. We could be living in a world where Manu Ginobili, surely one of the best players during the Spurs’ championship squads from 2003, 2005, and 2007 while also known for his international success, makes the Hall of Fame despite being the overwhelming underdog when deciding between him and McGrady on who to start a franchise with.

But that’s what the Hall of Fame is. It doesn’t reward just excellence in the NBA, but also takes into account college basketball accolades, international ones too, and those who innovated or changed the game in some way.

It’s possible that Tyler Hansbrough, in some way or another, could get into the Hall of Fame before, with, or instead of Tracy McGrady. Picture this (half-sarcastic) career path from Hansbrough:

  • Averages a 20 points and 10 rebounds for three years on a Seattle expansion team that goes a combined 46-200. That, or he rocks Michael Jordan‘s world and goes for 20 and 10 for continuously awful Charlotte Bobcat squads.

That may or may not be enough production to balance out Hansbrough’s pro career with his storied four years at North Carolina. Ralph Sampson, for example, produced at a high level for five years before injuries derailed his career, but he played on Rockets squads that once made the Finals and were playoff-caliber for all but his rookie season.

Still, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012 to the surprise of a few.

Another thing Hansbrough could do:

  • Sign with Toronto at some point or another, get dual citizenship with Canada and help a surging basketball country medal in either the Olympics or the World Cup, whichever event is a bigger deal from 2016 to 2022.

Like mentioned before, innovators have a place in the Hall of Fame too. Enter another Hansbrough scenario where he could take advantage of the Hall’s standards:

  • Mainstream underhand free throw shooting.

Who knows, though. Hansbrough might have done enough at North Carolina to warrant himself a place in the Hall of Fame, but it shouldn’t carry the same weight as McGrady’s 16,000 points in the NBA from the 1999-00 season to 2007-08 (nine years total). It’s unfortunate those years account for 86 percent of McGrady’s total points. An extra 2,546 points happen to be spread across six other seasons (seven if you count his playoff run with San Antonio that started four months ago) where he played just 300 more games.

Antawn Jamison signs with the Clippers

Jamison reportedly signed with the Los Angeles team with jerseys that remind me of Dairy Queen for the veteran minimum.

I believe his days as a key cog off the bench are behind him. He was overused last season because of injuries to Jordan Hill and occasionally Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. However, Jamison will be a great locker room and behind the scenes presence. While I’m not basing this off a ton of material, he also seems like someone to conduct a great interview with. Bonus points for the media!

Would Jamison have been a better fit somewhere else? The Grizzlies and Rockets could’ve used a stretch four. The Pistons could’ve used Jamison as well, but they signed Josh Harrelson instead.

It makes Jamison a confusing signing for the Clips. He does nothing to fix the interior defense that haunted the Clippers in the last two postseasons, which puts even more pressure on DeAndre Jordan to plug the middle. Maybe the Clippers can get away with that weakness with a freakishly good offense, but I highly doubt it.

Whatever the reason for the signing, it’s nice to see Jamison on another team in contention out West. He’s produced too much for too long not to have one more shot at a title.

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