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Tracy McGrady learned to never reach on Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal to avoid broken arm

Shaquille O'Neal, Lakers, Rockets, Tracy McGrady

When they were in their primes, Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal and Houston Rockets great Tracy McGrady had a few great battles against each other. Though the two rarely matched up, McGrady learned a thing or two of what not to do when defending the most dominant big man in history.

As reported by Kristian Winfield of SB Nation, McGrady learned not to reach on Shaq because he will break your arm.

”The one lesson I learned guarding him was never to reach on him while he was going up… because he will break your arm.”

A quick recall of the past does not reveal McGrady suffering an arm injury when he faced Shaq. So we can only wonder when and how he came up with the conclusion. Maybe his arm felt so sore after reaching in that he felt it was broken? Who knows?

Though most NBA fans have thought of the two as competitors, there was a moment in time when they were about to become teammates. Jerry West, general manager of the Lakers then, was actually eyeing McGrady.

An old interview former Lakers coach Del Harris admitted to a potential trade that would’ve brought McGrady to the Lakers — possibly teaming up with Kobe Bryant and Shaq. As per Marc Stein of the New York Times, Harris said:

“McGrady came in the next year with a more mature body and worked out so well that Jerry kind of tooled around with the idea that maybe we should just go ahead and make a deal for whatever it took to get this guy — even though it’d be a step back in the short term — to have two guys like this on the same team.”