As coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, Monty Williams will be busy when the Orlando Magic honor Tracy McGrady during tonight's regular-season opener at Amway Center.
That's OK. Williams already knows how good McGrady was.
Williams was McGrady’s teammate with the Magic during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons.
“Gosh, I don’t know if there was anybody that could stop him,” Williams said after the Pelicans completed their shootaround today.
“Doc [Rivers] would put me against him every day in practice, so I got a chance to really work on my game by guarding him. A lot of guys would run from Tracy in practice, and I kind of liked the challenge of going against somebody that was that good. He’s probably one of the most talented people I’ve ever been around. You really couldn’t stop him from scoring. You just made it hard on him by trying to hit him.
“He’s just one of the best I’ve ever played with or against. He has an amazing IQ, great size. He could shoot it, could dribble, could defend, could do whatever he wanted to. If he hadn’t hurt his knee, he’d be a first-ballot — if he isn’t — Hall of Famer. An amazing basketball player.”
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.