Tracy McGrady has admitted he’s grateful to Kobe Bryant for leaving Adidas to sign with Nike. McGrady and Bryant were two of the NBA’s most exciting players in the early 2000s and were both signed to the three stripes before the former Lakers superstar attached his name to the swoosh in 2003.
Bryant’s departure apparently freed up more cash for Adidas to hand T-Mac another lucrative deal, something he claims he’s thanked Kobe for on numerous occasions.
“Thank you Kob’,” the former Houston Rockets guard said while speaking to Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the latest episode of All the Smoke. “I thanked Kob’ so many times, bro. If it wasn’t for Kob’ leaving Adidas, I wouldn’t have gotten my big deal – I woulda got the leftovers.”
“My dawg,” he added with a laugh while pointing upwards. “Thank you!”
McGrady and Bryant were fierce rivals back in the day but were also very close friends whose careers took different paths. McGrady’s, while incredible in its own right, was marred by injury and he never had the pleasure of winning a championship while Bryant won five titles before retiring in 2016.
McGrady, a seven-time All-Star and two-time scoring champion, found his crowning moment as a Hall of Fame inductee three years ago. Bryant will be going in posthumously this year following his unfortunate passing. The former Los Angeles Lakers superstar was the victim of a tragic helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers on January 26.