“I bet LeBron will outscore you” - Tracy McGrady fondly reminisces his Christmas ‘03 matchup with LeBron James

Tracy McGrady was matched up against a young LeBron James on Christmas Day 2003.
Tracy McGrady was matched up against a young LeBron James on Christmas Day 2003.

NBA icon Tracy McGrady talked about putting on a show on Christmas Day against LeBron James in 2003.

The two legends showcased their talents as they clashed. McGrady took on the rookie on Christmas Day and showed he wouldn't back down on a challenge.

During an interview with SLAM magazine, McGrady revealed that one of his childhood friends made a bet that James would outscore him. Of course, T-Mac couldn't believe what he heard from his own friend. T-Mac, a three-time All-Star at the time, locked in and showed everyone what he's capable of.

"Well, first and foremost, I had a bet with one of my guys," McGrady said. "One of my childhood friends talking about, 'Yo, bro, Bron coming to town, got all the hype behind him, can't let him outscore you. I got a bet that he'll outscore you.'"

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Every time James scored, McGrady answered, and vice versa. The historical game ended up like a one-on-one game between the two stars. McGrady finished with 41 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds against James' 34 points and six assists. To top it all off, the Orlando Magic beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-101.

The seven-time All-Star and Hall of Famer also showed off his signature shoe, the Adidas TMac 2. That shoeline also became popular thanks to none other than James, who wore them in his high school.

"Bron was hitting some tough-a** shots that game," McGrady said. "He hit one on me in the corner. And I was just looking like, 'Really? Alright, come on down this way. Give me the ball.'"

Tracy McGrady paid due credit to LeBron James after their epic matchup

2019 NBA Finals, Game 1: Tracy McGrady
2019 NBA Finals, Game 1: Tracy McGrady

After their monumental matchup, McGrady had nothing but compliments for the young star. McGrady said that because of the hype around James in high school, he was aware of what the 2003 No. 1 pick could do on the court. McGrady couldn't believe the talent James possessed, and all he could do was be amazed at LeBron's unworldly talents.

"That Christmas Day game, what he became as a player, you know, was amazing," McGrady said. "But at 18, in that Christmas Day game we played, he was hitting some shots, and I'm looking at him like, 'Really?' Like, 'Come on, bro. Nah. Nope. This ain't you. You havin' an out-of-body experience right now.'"

Selected first overall by the Cavaliers in the legendary 2003 draft class, James immediately became a fan favorite. LeBron's hype was worth it, as he ended up being the Rookie of the Year in 2004 beating Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade.

Both superstars would battle it all throughout the 2000s, and they each had terrific careers. McGrady was one of the most recognizable players during the 2000s. James, on the other hand, isn't done collecting trophies and breaking records.

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