(Reuters) - Seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady, a shooting guard renowned for his exceptional athleticism, announced on Monday that he was retiring from the National Baseketball Association (NBA) after 16 years in the league.
A two-time scoring champion who played a small role for the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs last season, McGrady averaged 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in a career that began with much promise in 1997 when he was drafted out of high school.
“Thank all of you who have supported me over 16 NBA seasons, 7 All-Stars, and countless exciting moments. Retiring from NBA. Stay tuned,” McGrady, whose career was curtailed by various injuries, tweeted on Monday.
The 34-year-old, known to many as “T-Mac,” later told ESPN’s “First Take” he had enjoyed “a great run, but it’s time for it to come to an end”.
However, McGrady did not rule out the possibility that he might consider playing competitively in China when asked to clarify his thinking about the future.
“Officially retired from the NBA. Door’s still open,” replied McGrady, who played for the Qingdao Eagles in the Chinese Basketball Association during the 2012-13 season before his last NBA hurrah with the Spurs.
Often bracketed with Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter as the best players of his generation, McGrady played for the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and the Spurs during his NBA career.
A six-foot nine-inch shooting guard who could shoot or pass with devastating effect, he was the league’s scoring champion in 2003 and 2004 and an All-Star for seven consecutive years, from 2001 to 2007.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue