Tracy McGrady, 37, is proving that there's no minimum age for former players to complain about today's NBA.
Two weeks after McGrady lamented Stephen Curry's unanimous MVP Award as evidence of a "watered-down" league, he set his crotchety sights on Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal.
The two-time scoring champion appeared on ESPN's The Jump on Tuesday and scoffed at Beal wanting a max contract this summer. Via Bullets Forever:
If he's a max player, then I'm coming back.
Ha. First of all, no you're not, Tracy. Everyone saw you in the All-Star Celebrity Game this year.
Second, there are few people less qualified to shake their canes at Beal than T-Mac.
Yes, a five-year, $92 million extension seems like big money for a player who averaged 17.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists last season. But let's rewind to 2000 when McGrady signed his first max contract at age 21.
This from The Philadelphia Inquirer archives:
The Magic worked out sign-and-trade deals with the Pistons and Raptors, resulting in a nice extra chunk of cash for Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady.
Both players signed seven-year, maximum-salary deals worth $93 million with their old teams, then were traded to the Magic.
So what did T-Mac do to merit max money? Average 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game the season prior ... not exactly numbers that blow Beal out of the water.
Also, Beal has started 21 playoff games so far in his career and put up 21.2 points per game in the postseason. McGrady, meanwhile, had recorded 16.2 points per game in only three playoff appearances before signing his max. (Don't you just love Basketball-Reference.com?)
So the two players will likely end up getting similar money for similar production in their first big NBA contracts, but Wizards fans should hope that's where the parallells end.
While McGrady made seven-straight All-Star appearances, his career was derailed by major injuries and postseason futility. T-Mac never advanced past the second round of the playoffs until signing with San Antonio at the start of their 2012 Finals run.