Tracy McGrady Yao Ming.

Tracey McGrady suggests Yao Ming helped grow basketball more than Michael Jordan

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Tracy McGrady was one of the great scorers of his era and was a two-time scoring champion during his time with the Orlando Magic in the early 2000s.

After trading to the Houston Rockets in 2004, McGrady would link up with Chinese big man Yao Ming, who is set to be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

In a candid and revealing post to ESPN, the former wing detailed the profound effect Ming has had on the game around the world and even suggested he helped grow the sport more than the great Michael Jordan.

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"Then there was Yao's impact on the global game," McGrady started. "You have to understand, before him, basketball wasn't popular in China. I had made trips there before he came into the league, and there was basketball, but it wasn't a part of the Chinese culture.

"Now, there's over 300 million people in China playing because of Yao Ming.

"I saw it. I felt it. That is his legacy. He brought NBA basketball to China and I will forever be thankful that I was able to be a part of it. He introduced the country to Tracy McGrady.

2013 Yao Foundation Charity Game - China v NBA Stars

"We were their heroes. They didn't see Michael Jordan play, they saw us. They saw Yao."

There is no doubt that Ming has done as much as anyone, if not more to help basketball grow around the world. However, that's not the only reason he is set to become a Hall of Famer.

Averages of 19 points, 1.9 blocks and 9.2 rebounds throughout an injury-blighted career are worthy reasons too.

Shaquille O'Neal
Western Conference
Orlando Magic
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan

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