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Tracy McGrady Explained How He Almost Went To Kentucky Out Of High School

A closeup of Tracy McGrady on the Rockets.

HOUSTON - APRIL 19: Tracy McGrady #1 of the Houston Rockets waits to take a foul shot against the Utah Jazz in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at the Toyota Center on April 19, 2008 in Houston, Texas. The Jazz won 93-82. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Tracy McGrady was only the seventh player to go to the NBA as a high school draftee. But there was an outside chance that he could have plied his trade at Kentucky first.

In a recent on the "All The Smoke" podcast, McGrady reiterated that Kentucky was "the" option for him initially. He explained that he was planning on going to Kentucky, and knew when he visited that it was the pick for him.

"I wanted to go to college, I was going to Kentucky," McGrady said, via "I took my visit to Kentucky, Derek Anderson was my host. Then I said hold up, 'this where I'm going, right here' I don't want to go do no more visits. The player lounge, where they stay, everything was plush. I said, 'I'm coming. I don't want no more visits. This is where I'm going.'"

But McGrady revealed that the tipping point came when he got an offer from Adidas. His agent The apparel company offered him a six-year, $12 million contract, and McGrady said his college dream "went out the window" after that.

"Time goes by, I'm playing my season, my name's getting stronger, I'm sitting in my coach's office. He's like, 'I know you want to go to Kentucky, I know you want to go to college but after I tell you this you're going to forget all about it,'" McGrady said. "He's like, 'I got a $12 million deal for you.' I said, 'from who?' He said, 'from Adidas. They want to offer you six years, $12 million.' My college dream went out the window and that was it."

McGrady ultimately went to the NBA straight out of high school. He wound up going No. 9 overall to the Toronto Raptors in the 1997 draft, but became a superstar with the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets.

His 17-year pro career includes seven All-Star appearances, two NBA scoring titles, multiple All-NBA selections, and a gold medal for Team USA at the 2003 FIBA Americas Championship.

Kentucky ultimately didn't need McGrady though. They won the NCAA Championship in 1998 under head coach Tubby Smith.

Even so, it's pretty wild to think about what those late-90s Kentucky teams might have looked like if they had Tracy McGrady joining forces with the likes of Scott Padgett, Wayne Turner, or even Tayshaun Prince.