Kobe Bryant vs Tracy McGrady 1 on 1
In the early 2000’s, there was virtually nothing separating these two guys in terms of what they could do on the court. Both Kobe and T-Mac are up there with the very best scorers the game has ever seen, and truly deserve the label “unguardable” when the have the ball in the hands. So what happens when both of these guys are matched up, in their prime, 1 on 1. Our panel discusses:
Pick: Kobe. Healthy I think Tracy McGrady was top 3 all time but unfortunately the injury bug plague him, he had all the offensive moves you could ask for and on Toronto he really put great effort into his defense. Who knows what he could have been he was only 30 when his career began to take a dive meanwhile Kobe was winning rings, finals mvp’s, first team’s offense and defense. This would be a great game both players admitting to giving one another trouble on the floor. Four scoring tittles between them, 2x a piece Tracy averaging 32.1 for his career high and Kobe at a ridiculous 35.4. On the raptors Tracy was a great shot blocker but I think Kobe was a better on ball defender, I think Kobe will be able to cause more turnovers and be disruptive.
Pick: Kobe. Perfect example of how much luck plays a part in these guys’ careers. KOBE named McGrady as his toughest opponent in an interview. There was a time when most sports broadcasters and prognosticators couldn’t choose between McGrady and KOBE. They were both as close to perfect perimeter players as anyone who ever played. Neither quite got to the Jordan stratosphere but you’d be hard pressed to name many 2’s better than Kobe and Tracy. KOBE had more of a scoring mentality, Tracy liked to play unselfish basketball more than KOBE did. Both were always potential lockdown defenders, good shooters, great floor game. This matchup is close to a draw. KOBE had a more cutthroat mentality. Tracy was just , as one sportswriter put it, “just really really really great at playing basketball. ” Tracy had an unlucky career as far as playing on good teams. Those Houston teams were pretty good but Yao and Tracy both battled injuries constantly. We all know Kobe’s resume. I’d like to give it to Tracy just because of his size and the ease with which he would score, but I have to give it to KOBE because Kobe would rather die than lose a game of one on one. I feel like if they played one on one 100 times, KOBE would win 60 just because he’s a bigger asshole, but Tracy would win 40.
Pick: Kobe. Kobe vs Tmac is a compelling match up. Since we aren’t comparing careers a one on one battle between these two titans in their prime is a toss up. Physically Tmac has every advantage on paper. He is bigger taller, longer,and younger. For a short window his Orlando yrs and first few Houston years Mcgrady was arguably this best player in the world . And he owns a scoring title. Enter the Mamba the greatest isolation scorer EVER to lace up high tops !!! His triple threat , footwork , and ability to make contested tough shots puts Kobe over the top. Don’t forget Kobe was all NBA defense for 12 years. I give the edge to Kobe because for the money ballers take it to the hole. And TMac is at the mercy of the Black Mamba in the post!
Pick: Kobe. Kobe vs T-Mac is the hardest choice I had to make since naming my last kid. I went back and watched as many videos that I could find and came away with some thoughts. Man, we was robbed of a great team. T-Mac and Grant Hill would have been a superstar combo for the Magic and probably would have challenged the Lake Show and The Spurs every other year dynasty. Orlando in general has had some bad luck with their franchise players. T-Mac blocked Kobe fadeaway more times then I seen anybody else do it. It’s a shame they didn’t match up alot with Battier or Artest usually guarding Kobe with Houston and Artest or others guarding Kobe, but the few times they matched up was special. McGrady hit a half spin in the lane that made Kobe fall and turned and hit a jumper like it was nothing. As soon as the ball went thru the net, Kobe jumped up and I swear you could see steam coming out his ears and he went and drove past McGrady and dunked on a couple of Rockets. 1 on 1 I would have to give the edge to Kobe. Even tho McGrady arm span could contest and block some of Kobe shots, Kobe killer competitive will would help him and as great as a score McGrady was, he was a streaker shooter who goes cold more often then not. He also would settle for threes when he could get to the paint whenever he wanted. If they played to 21 by 1’s,I would say Kobe 21-McGrady 19.
Pick: Kobe. I believe kobe would win this matchup because of his defense, Kobe’s 9 time all-defense first team speaks for itself, but to T-mac’s defense, he is a matchup nightmare. A 6 ft 8 shooting guard that can has a ball handle, can shoot the ball, and can finish at the rim as good as anybody would abuse most guards. Both are not perimeter knockdown shooters (both career 3pt fg% are in the low 30’s) they found other ways to score. T-mac’s jumper was just as good as Kobe’s but Kobe’s post game was was put him ahead of T-mac. It would be fun to see these guys go at it in their prime, but i think Kobe would beat him despite t-mac’s offensive strike.
Pick: Kobe. This is tough, because both T-Mac and Kobe could do everything on the court. There isn’t one are that either are notably stronger or weaker than the other, so it comes down to a gut instinct here. You can make the legitimate argument that both of them are (at least) 2 of the top 5 scorers in NBA history in terms of how complete their offensive arsenal was. So it comes down to defence, and Kobe has a proven history of going after it on that end of the floor. McGrady had the same capabilities (if not more, because he had longer arms and was a couple of inches taller), but he never really understood the importance of consistently competing on that end. Now you could argue that he had to carry such a big load of the offense in Orlando and that prevented him from focusing too much effort defensively, but that excuse doesn’t fly in Houston where he had quite a bit of help on the offensive end. I trust both guys to bring it in terms of offense, but I don’t have a whole lot of confidence with McGrady’s defense. Kobe wins by the slimmest of margins.