Toronto Raptors’ OG Anunoby Says Tracy McGrady Is One of His Favorite Basketball Players

Toronto Raptors’ OG Anunoby. Photo Credit: National Post

Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby Dropped By Scoop B Radio and Discussed Being A Fan of Tracy McGrady’s Game. Press Play Below To Listen!

 

Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby may be a fan of Allen Iverson’s crossover dribble (particularly the one where he made former Washington Wizards guard Antonio Daniels look like he slipped on a puddle of water) but he is a huge fan of Tracy McGrady.

English-born and of Nigerian descent, the 6’8 Anunoby was a month old when McGrady was drafted by the Toronto Raptors with the ninth pick in the 1997 NBA Draft.

That draft class was laden with talent with two future Hall of Famers standing out from that list: Detroit Pistons hero Chauncey Billups and old reliable San Antonio Spurs big, Tim Duncan.

Literally 20 years later, Anunoby was selected 23rd in this year’s NBA Draft out of the University of Indiana.

The irony.

McGrady was special; so special the biggest rumor in 1997 was that the Bulls were looking to trade Scottie Pippen to acquire him.

In Jonathan Abrams’ book “Boys Among Men,”  (H/T CBS Sports’ Matt Moore)  it was revealed that Tracy McGrady was nearly traded to the Chicago Bulls for Scottie Pippen on draft night in 1997, but Michael Jordan vetoed it. McGrady confirmed that on an episode of ESPN’s The Jump with Rachel Nichols.

“Tracy McGrady was one of my favorites,” OG Anunoby told me on Scoop B Radio.

For two seasons (1998-2000), McGrady, Vince Carter, Doug Christie and company would lead the Raptors to a 68-64 record. Those feats included the Raptors first-ever winning season where they went 45-37 in 2000.

Toronto also made their first NBA playoff appearance, where they’d be swept 3-0 by the New York Knicks. Despite being swept, McGrady earned his big payday in the NBA Playoff. In game one, T-Mac registered 25 points and hauled in 10 rebounds.

That offseason, McGrady bolted Toronto and signed a six-year, $67.5 million contract with the Orlando Magic. 

With McGrady now an NBA Hall of Famer, Anunoby says he he has a favorite McGrady moment: “The game when he went against the Spurs,” he said with a smile.

Ah yes, December 9, 2004.  As a member of the Houston Rockets, McGrady scored 13 points in 33 seconds against the San Antonio Spurs. It took four buckets from beyond the arc, a made free throw to complete a four-point play and a steal to win the game 81-80.

Historically, McGrady struggled to get out of the second round of the NBA Playoffs. Despite that, a talented scorer, McGrady’s most memorable playoff moments occurred during the 2003 NBA Playoffs. The league’s scoring champion at the time, McGrady shot over 51 percent from the field against the Detroit Pistons in their round one series.

The Magic had a 3-1 lead in the series with McGrady scoring 43, 46, 29 and 27 points, respectively against Detroit; but Orlando couldn’t seal the deal. They were eliminated.

One stand out moment during that series was when McGrady dunked on Pistons 6’11 forward Mehmet Okur.

 

“It was a good series,” said Anunoby. “Plus I liked McGrady too and I was just a fan of the NBA at that point.”

That explosiveness could easily be identified in an NBA Playoffs matchup between McGrady Orlando Magic and the Detroit Pistons. In the 3rd quarter of that first round series,  McGrady dunks on Pistons 6’11 forward Mehmet Okur.

Selected as a Preseason All-American by The Sporting News last season, Anunoby posted 11 points for the Hoosiers last season.  Anunoby has a 7’2 wingspan and quick hands. He began to make noise collegiately when he shut down Jamal Murray in the NCAA tournament, his freshman year.

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About Brandon Robinson

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson is a managing editor and columnist at RESPECT Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @ScoopB and Instagram: @Scoop_B.

As a 12 year old, he was a Nets reporter from 1997-1999, co-hosting a show called Nets Slammin’ Planet with former New Jersey Net Albert King and Nets play-by-play man Chris Carrino. He’s also been a writer and radio host at CBS and a staff writer at The Source Magazine.

He’s a graduate of both Eastern University and Hofstra University.

You can catch him daily on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Visit ScoopBRadio.com to listen.

For inquiries and to contact Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson visit ScoopB.com