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Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady Reveals How Michael Jordan Prevented Him From Joining the Chicago Bulls

Published 04/15/2022, 11:09 PM EDT

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The Chicago Bulls were one of the most dominating teams in sports history. The 1990s belonged to them, as they won six championships in a span of just 8 years. With Michael Jordan as the focal point, he became one of the biggest stars in the world. And he was also the best player on the Bulls. But while there are complaints about his treatment of his teammates, he showed a lot of faith in them. Notably, Jordan put a major condition just to deny a young Tracy McGrady from coming to the Bulls. But the former scoring champion feels MJ was right to do so.

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T-Mac is one of the most legendary offensive players to come in the NBA. While the Hall of Famer was unfortunate with injuries in his career, McGrady still managed to make a serious mark. Even the greats of the game had major praise for McGrady. Notably, Kobe Bryant even said he could do everything like him, but was bigger. Hence, there is no doubt about his greatness on the court. However, despite Krause being head over heels for McGrady as a youngster, Jordan shut down any trade for him.


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While many felt it would have made a major dent in the history books, McGrady feels MJ was right on the money with his decision.

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McGrady in favor of not joining Michael Jordan?

Recently, McGrady was a guest on the HoopsHype podcast. He discussed his NBA career and a potential move to the Bulls as a young player. McGrady said he definitely thought about being a Chicago Bull as a rookie. Unsurprisingly, Krause was even ready to move Pippen in exchange for a young T-Mac. But T-Mac also feels Jordan made the right call to keep the group together as they were winning.


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McGrady said: “Did I feel like they should’ve made that trade? Absolutely not. They were still winning championships. If you bring in a rookie and take away a Top 50 player for a rookie. I wasn’t ready at that time to step up in that role. I don’t want to be stupid about this. They made the right choice. MJ (Michael Jordan) made the right call of really putting an ax to that, keeping that same group together, and went on to win another championship.”


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While T-Mac did develop into a force to reckon, he was only a mere 20-year-old sophomore at the time of a potential move to the Bulls. In addition, the Bulls were looking to trade one of the most important pieces in Scottie Pippen. Hence, Jordan said he would retire if they go through with the trade. And to McGrady’s credit, Jordan was, in fact, right as they had created a championship atmosphere with the same group.


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At 20, McGrady was only a pup in Toronto putting up close to 10 points per game. However, fans can’t help but wonder how time would have seen two offensive players grow as teammates. If T-Mac did team up with Jordan, do you think he would have an NBA championship? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Anuj Talwalkar


One take at a time

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.
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Edited by:

Ajinkya Aswale