Tracy McGrady left the Toronto Raptors in free agency of 2000, signing a deal with the Orlando Magic. Now retired, McGrady looks back with regret about leaving a Raptors team that had another emerging star in Vince Carter at the time.
“In hindsight, looking back, obviously I wish I had stayed in Toronto,” McGrady said. “There’s no doubt we could have contended for a championship. I think about that often. But if ‘if’ was a fifth, you know?”
People close to McGrady also were pushing him to sign with the Chicago Bulls that year, believing the market could enhance his brand, but the forward did not want to join the organization.
“They were going to get a percentage off of (my endorsement income),” McGrady said of his advisors, among them Alvis Smith, a shoe-company talent procurer who was credited with “discovering” McGrady as a high schooler. “They were pushing me to go to Chicago and I didn’t want to go to Chicago.”