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A lot of basketball has been played since adidas signed then Orlando Magic superstar Tracy McGrady to a lifetime endorsement deal in April 2002. But now that the 33-year-old veteran has made his way back to the league with the San Antonio Spurs — yeah, the same Spurs McGrady dropped 13 point in the last 33 seconds of the game on back in ’04 — it's time to take a look back at the T-Mac’s signature sneaker line with the Three Stripes that was all the buzz in the early-mid 2000’s. This is A History of Tracy McGrady in the adidas T-MAC.

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TMac 1

adidas T-MAC 1

Release Date: 2002
Team: Orlando Magic

McGrady experimented with various adidas sneakers, including the Mad Handle, before finally getting his own signature line in 2002. The first of the collection, the T-MAC 1, brought a new look to basketball sneakers thanks to an ultra-durable shell toe designed to compliment McGrady’s elusive style of play. It became a popular shoe amongst young ballers of the time, including LeBron James, who rocked a pair during his prep days at St. Vincent St. Mary High School.

TMac 2

adidas T-MAC 2

Release Date: 2003
Team: Orlando Magic

Adidas didn’t waste any time rolling the T-MAC 2 the following year. Featuring a more streamlined design than its predecessor, the low-top shoe quickly became a fan (and player) favorite. In fact, it is considered by some to be the best member of the adidas T-MAC series. The shoe featured a Torsion System for stability and an adiPrene+ forefoot that provided maximum control.

TMac 3

adidas T-MAC 3

Release Date: 2004
Team: Orlando Magic

When you think of the T-MAC 3, the first image that probably comes to mind is the one of McGrady rocking a mismatched pair (one red, one blue) during the 2004 NBA All-Star Game. The T-MAC 3 has all the innards of the two previous models, including an EVA midsole and adiPrene+ in the forefoot, but on the outside, the shoe featured a more modern design. The shoe’s faux-alligator print wasn’t for everybody, but the comfort and incredible fit the T-MAC 3 provided made it a top choice on the hardwood.

Tmac 4

adidas T-MAC 4

Release Date: 2004
Team: Houston Rockets

The T-MAC 4 was a complete redesign of the McGrady series, and at the forefront of the upgraded silhouette was the innovative HUG Systems technology, which used a laceless compression closure system designed to give players a lockdown fit. McGrady took the shoe and ran with it, putting up some memorable performance in the shoe, including that heroic performance against the Spurs we mentioned in the intro.

TMac 5

adidas T-MAC 5

Release Date: 2005
Team: Houston Rockets

adidas stepped out of the box again in 2005 with the introduction of the T-MAC 5. Much like the models before it, the T-MAC 5 gave ballers something new and fresh to play in. The design of the shoe was somewhat of a blend between the 3 and 4, with laces and a midfoot strap for ultimate support. The T-MAC 5 featured a synthetic leather and mesh upper for lasting comfort.

Tmac 6

adidas T-MAC 6

Release Date: 2006
Team: Houston Rockets

The T-MAC 6 was the most technically advanced version of McGrady’s signature line, plain and simple. The shoe featured a redesigned outsole featuring stragetically-placed GeoFit cushioning pods for support and stability. The shoe’s unique Grond Control System gave players exceptional motion control and versatility on the court. Unfortunately for McGrady, this was around the time his injury troubles started. Just don’t blame the shoes.

TMac 7

adidas TS Lightspeed

Release Date: 2008
Team: Houston Rockets

The T-MAC 6 was the final installment of McGrady's signature line, so in '08 adidas laced him up in the TS Lightspeed. The mid-top shoe was a change from the low-top T-MAC series, however McGrady adopted the shoe as his and continued to do some damage on the court. The shoe's upper featured a mix of perforated leather, micro-pebbled leather, and woven leather. While underneath the hood, it featured adiPrene technology in the forefoot, along with molded ankle support for high-level performance.

Gurvinder Singh Gandu is a New York City-based contributing writer for Sneaker Report and Complex Media, with a special interest in of performance gear and footwear, Follow him @GurvinderSG for the latest.

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