In 1997, Isiah Thomas – an all-time great player who was then running the Raptors – drafted Tracy McGrady straight out of high school with the No. 9 pick and said, “He does the things that we all wish we could do.”
Twenty years later, Thomas will present McGrady at the latter’s Hall of Fame enshrinement.
One of the coolest things the Basketball Hall of Fame does is have inductees select a current member to introduce them. It’s always fascinating to see which greats share a connection.
McGrady and Thomas didn’t spend long together in Toronto. But after Thomas resigned in November of McGrady’s rookie year, McGrady called Thomas a “father figure.” Given Thomas’ willingness to mentor younger players, their relationship likely didn’t end there.
Here’s the full list of 2017 presenters, via a Basketball Hall of Fame release:
Zack Clayton, presented by Earl Monroe (‘90)
Nick Galis, presented by Bob McAdoo (‘00)
Robert Hughes, presented by Sheryl Swoopes (‘16)
Mannie Jackson, presented by Jerry Colangelo (‘04), Lynette Woodard (‘04), Russ Granik (‘13)
Tom Jernstedt, present by John Havlicek (‘84), Ann Meyers (‘93), Geno Auriemma (‘06)
Jerry Krause, presented by Jerry Reinsdorf (‘16)
Rebecca Lobo, presented by Geno Auriemma (‘06)
George McGinnis, presented Artis Gilmore (‘11), Reggie Miller (‘12), Bobby Leonard (‘14), Spencer Haywood (‘15)
Muffet McGraw, presented by Ann Meyers (‘93)
Tracy McGrady, presented by Isiah Thomas (‘00)
Bill Self, presented by Larry Brown (‘02)