Tracy McGrady recalls marveling at ‘grown man’ LeBron James during 2003 Christmas Day game

LeBron James and Donovan Mitchell

NBA legend Tracy McGrady certainly is not someone who is easily impressed, but he recently revealed a specific performance that really caught his attention.

During a recent conversation with NBA insider Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, McGrady discussed LeBron James’ performance in a Cleveland Cavaliers game versus McGrady’s Orlando Magic in 2003.

“In that Christmas Day game when we played, he was hitting some shots, and I’m looking at him like, ‘Really? Like, come on bro, nah. Nope, this ain’t you. You having an out-of-body experience right now,'” said McGrady. “But as time progressed and I seen who he became as a player, I was like, ‘Okay, this kid’s for real.'”

The Magic won that game back in 2003, but James certainly put on a show.

He dropped 34 points in the game and added six assists, two rebounds, two steals and a block. He was the only member of his team to score more than 20 points in that game.

In fact, the only player to score more in that contest was McGrady himself. He dropped 41 points and added 11 assists, eight rebounds and three steals.

As far as Christmas Day games go, this one was one for the ages. It was tied through four quarters and had to go into overtime to decide a winner. Once overtime started, however, the star power and experience of the Magic roster took hold.

The Magic outscored the Cavs 16-4 in the extra frame. Still, it’s clear that James made a massive statement in that contest and showed NBA fans a glimpse of the greatness that was to follow.

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