Tracy McGrady's tricky Hall case

Updated: August 26, 2013, 4:30 PM ET
By Kevin Pelton | ESPN Insider

The clock on Tracy McGrady's eligibility for the Hall of Fame hasn't started -- yet. While McGrady announced Monday morning on ESPN's "First Take" that he is retiring from the NBA, he left open the possibility of playing overseas after spending time in China last season. Remember that it's the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and not the NBA Hall of Fame, so McGrady won't be on the secret ballot until five years after he is fully retired. Whatever McGrady does overseas is unlikely to change his résumé, so it's not too early to begin what figures to be one of the most polarizing Hall of Fame debates we've ever seen.

Already, the Hall of Fame's 24-person honors committee will have its hands full with the candidacy of Allen Iverson, who is expected to officially announce his retirement soon. But while the abrupt end to his NBA career, off-court issues and the growing emphasis on scoring efficiency could keep Iverson from being a first-ballot selection, it's hard to see him waiting long to reach the Hall. Every eligible NBA MVP has been voted in, and that precedent is unlikely to change with Iverson.