Imagine being 18 years old, living in a new city with no parents, a lot of more money and a lot of free time.
What is a kid to do in a situation like that?
Well, if you were Tracy McGrady, you would frequent the now-defunct Playdium in Mississauga.
Yes, if you used to go to the Playdium back in the late ’90s and remember seeing an incredibly tall kid having some fun, that could’ve been a future NBA hall of famer that was schooling you at Daytona USA or Street Fighter II.
During an interview with Uninterrupted Canada, McGrady opened up about his time with the Raptors – specifically his free time.
“It wasn’t basketball that I struggled with. It was the other stuff,” McGrady said.
“I was 18 years old, and you go to shoot around for an hour — hour-and-a-half — and then the rest of the day it’s like, to myself, is like ‘what am I gonna do at 18 years old — I don’t have my parents living with me – it’s just me and a friend of mine, and I’m in Toronto. How can I occupy my time?
“I was so bored. Video games were my thing at the time, but I wanted to get out of the house; I wanted to see the city.
“I would go to a place .. in Mississauga called Playdium, we used to just go out to Playdium. Go to an arcade place and play video games all the time.”
Playdium wasn’t the only place that McGrady says he frequented during his time with the Raptors. Like most other teenagers, he was known to hit the mall to pass the time.
“I used to go out there all the time, and then, as an 18-year-old in the NBA, ‘hey man, I’m in Canada, no one really knows who I am, I need to get out,’ so I used to go to the mall.”
Unfortunately, McGrady and others aren’t able to take a walk down memory lane and visit the Playdium for its games, rock-climbing, mini-golf or batting cages anymore. The Mississauga location across from Square One was closed in late 2020 due to redevelopment of the area.
As for McGrady, he spent three seasons with the Raptors before signing with the Magic and embarking on a hall of fame career.
There’s no word on which arcades he frequented in Orlando, but there’s certainly no shortage of attractions in the area.
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