McGrady: Players should do two college years
by Alex Kennedy, USA TODAY Sports
Critics of the NBA’s age rule that forces young players to attend one year of college before playing in the NBA often mention Tracy McGrady as an example of why prospects should be able to enter the league straight out of high school.
McGrady has had a successful 16-year career, winning two scoring titles, and was been named to the All-NBA First Team twice.
However, McGrady, now playing for the San Antonio Spurs, says he doesn’t think players should do it the way he did, make the prep-to-pros jump. He came from Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C. to the Toronto Raptors as the No. 9 overall pick in the 1997 draft.
In fact, McGrady believes that the age rule should require players to attend two years of college before entering the league. This would end the recent trend of one-and-done players in the NCAA.
“I actually think they should implement having these guys go to school for two years,” McGrady said. “What is it, one year now? At least go to school for two years because the league is so young. I think we need to build our league up. I mean, I hate to say it, but the talent in this league is pretty down.”
McGrady admits that it wasn’t easy for him to transition to the NBA lifestyle as a teenager.
“It was pretty difficult becoming a man so early and competing against grown men,” McGrady said. “You’re the best player on the floor in high school and then you come face the best players in the world. Also, the transition to living on your own, having to deal with the traveling, dealing with the different climaxes, getting into cities at 2 or 3 in the morning and then waking up the next morning for shootarounds and practices. I mean, it was a culture shock.”
McGrady believes that attending college “probably would have” better prepared him for the NBA. However, he doesn’t regret his route to the league.
When asked why he decided to bypass college and go straight to the pros, McGrady said bluntly, “Well, let’s see, adidas gave me a $12 … [For more on Tracy McGrady says players should do two college years, click here.]