Pat Riley Offered Young Tracy McGrady A Max Contract In The Coolest, Most Extravagant Way Ever
Today is NBA legend, Tracy McGrady’s birthday. That’s why we’re throwing it back to this gem of a story.
As most of you know, McGrady left the Toronto Raptors in 2000, to sign a six-year, $67.5 million contract with the Orlando Magic.
He wanted to join the Magic for two reasons. A, he wanted to play together with his friend Grant Hill (which didn’t work out for too long, as Hill went down with an injury) and B, because he disliked his secondary role playing behind his cousin Vince Carter.
What most didn’t know is that T-Mac could have easily ended up a little further south, in Miami.
While being a guest on the Bill Simmons Podcast a couple of years ago, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst told the most amazing story about how Pat Riley and Alonzo Mourning offered McGrady a max contract (in the podcast, at the 46 minute mark):
“They bring him down on a private jet and they bring him to Alonzo Mourning‘s house on the same day. And they have drinks and they hang out and you know Zo was, like, one of the coolest guys in the league. He still is one of the coolest guys in the league. They’re chilling at Zo’s house and all of a sudden, this speedboat pulls up. And Zo says, ‘Hey Tracy, let’s go for a ride.’ They get into the speedboat. They hit go and the speedboat goes 80 miles an hour across Biscayne Bay, zapping by the arena, downtown Miami, beautiful. It pulls in to Pat Riley‘s house down the cove. And Riley’s standing there holding the max contract offer.”
This is by far one of the coolest NBA stories ever! I can’t believe Tracy said no to that.