There’s nothing better in sports than watching someone realize their potential. It happens every year and while some players eventually flame out or blossom too soon, many of them change the game forever.
Take Tracy McGrady. Growing up, he might’ve been my favorite player in the NBA. Long, lean. Slinky arms. Spring-loaded calves. Sleepy eyes. He was blessed with so much natural ability and talent, all in a body that still hasn’t been matched yet: 6-8 with a massive wingspan, a super quick first step, and a 40-inch-plus vertical leap. Watching him play during his final season in Toronto was unlike anything I’d ever seen. We all thought he’d be the next Scottie Pippen. He played D. He scored. He handled the rock. He blocked shots. He didn’t even turn 21 years old until the end of May that year.
But even as we predicted a potential All-Star career, no one really expected him to do what he did.
His next four years in Orlando turned him into, arguably, the game’s best offensive weapon, and his 2002-03 season still ranks as one of the greatest years ever. (It doesn’t even matter that they lost in the first round.)
When I think of T-Mac, that’s the T-Mac I remember.
We can’t really expect an ascension at that level in 2015, but we can guarantee they’ll be more than a handful of young cats rising up and showing off their skills. These are the cats that’ll bring the most excitement over the next 12 months, so stay tuned. Here are the Breakout Stars You Need to Watch in 2015.
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