Kobe Bryant was confident when talking about going up against Tracy McGrady, saying he “baked and roasted” her.
Kobe Bryant once said that Tracy McGrady was one of the toughest players he ever had to guard because he could do anything he could, but he was 6’9. The two had a huge amount of similarities in both how they entered the league and their game in general.
Both Bryant and McGrady entered the NBA right out of high school and the latter signed with Adidas after seeing the Lakers rookie go with them as well. Their play on the offensive end of the floor was also quite comparable, from the mid-post turnaround jumpers to the explosiveness off the perimeter.
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Although Tracy McGrady has the obvious skill of being a number one option or two on a title contender, things didn’t go for him the way they did for Kobe Bryant.
Unfortunate injuries to him and his co-stars like Grant Hill limited T-Mac’s playoff success while “Bean” thrived with the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol.
Kobe Bryant versus Tracy McGrady.
During interview with ESPN in his 17e season in the league, Kobe Bryant spoke about various aspects of his career. Of course, when you’re doing something like this, the subject of 1v1s comes up quite often. When asked how it went with Tracy McGrady, ‘The Black Mamba’ confidently replied:
“I played T-Mac. I cooked it. Roasted it. Wasn’t even close. Ask him, he’ll tell you. When I was about 20, we were in Germany for doing promotions for this other sneaker company and we were playing basketball every day.
“We were in the gym all the time. We played 3 head-to-head games against 11. I won all three games. A game I won 11-2. After the third game, he said he had back spasms and couldn’t play anymore.
These are the same games that Kobe and Tracy hilariously argued about during a sit-down interview years later after the former’s retirement from the game, where McGrady said they weren’t keeping score.
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