HoopsHype Tracy McGrady rumors

March 10, 2014 Updates

The Sugar Land Skeeters have invited the 34-year-old McGrady to spring training, giving him a chance to earn a spot on the independent Atlantic League team. A seven-time NBA All-Star, McGrady has been training to become a pitcher with the team. "We're intrigued by the progress Tracy has made thus far and really commend him for putting in the work," Skeeters manager Gary Gaetti said. ESPN.com

March 6, 2014 Updates

General Manager Chris Jones, Manager Gary Gaetti and Tal Smith, an adviser to the team, looked at one another as McGrady pitched. They knew this was different, and better, than what they had anticipated. “This is not a gimmick,” McGrady said recently. “I do know the sport. I feel I have the talent.” New York Times

February 13, 2014 Updates

Baseball was Tracy McGrady's first love. His talent as a basketball player pushed baseball aside in high school, but he never gave up his dream to play again. So at age 34 after a 15-year career in the NBA, the 6-foot-8 McGrady is trying to earn a contract as a pitcher with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. ''This will be huge,'' he said Wednesday about the potential to play professional baseball. ''This will be so gratifying, even if I just go out there and pitch one inning the whole season this will be a dream that has come true for me.'' SI.com

McGrady now has flecks of gray in his beard, but recounted his affinity for baseball with childlike enthusiasm, repeating the words dream and love again and again. He used the gigantic hands and rangy fingers that helped him score more than 18,000 points in the NBA to grip and fidget with a pristine baseball as he spoke delightedly about the sport. ''I'm extremely confident in myself and my ability,'' he said. ''This is a great opportunity for me to fulfill a dream. It's the independent league. I'm not signing some multi-million dollar contract that I'm used to signing. This is all for the love of the game.'' SI.com

February 12, 2014 Updates

Tracy McGrady’s second career as a semi-pro baseball pitcher is very, very real. After ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy broke the news to the world that the former NBA superstar was eyeing a role as a relief pitcher with the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, McGrady himself confirmed it. Now, a Houston-area Fox affiliate has posted video footage of T-Mac throwing a bullpen session with two minor-leagues in MLB organizations. For The Win

February 11, 2014 Updates

Former NBA great Tracy McGrady passed another milestone in his efforts to pitch professionally. McGrady threw to hitters for the first time during a 20-minute bullpen session on Monday at Constellation Field, the home of the Sugar Land Skeeters. The hitters did not swing, but they got a good look at what McGrady can bring. "He's so tall and his arms are so long. His downward slope, you're not going to see that too often," said Barrett Barnes, a minor league outfielder in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "When you have a presence like that on the mound, it's really hard to settle in and be comfortable hitting. FOX 26 Sports

February 4, 2014 Updates

Former NBA superstar Tracy McGrady tells TMZ Sports ... he's 100% serious about pursuing a career in baseball as a pitcher -- saying, "My pitching coach told me I have a little Bob Gibson in me." McGrady -- a 7-time NBA All-Star and 2-time NBA scoring champ -- is currently battling for a roster spot on the Sugar Land Skeeters ... an independent pro team in Texas. Tracy says he's been playing baseball for most of his life and LOVES the sport more than basketball. In fact, he says if given the chance, "I absolutely would've played baseball over the NBA." TMZ.com

There have been reports that McGrady has fired the ball up to 91mph -- but when we spoke to Tracy, he was more focused on his slider. "I have a nice slider. I picked it up in 10 minutes. I also have a good splitter ... and my command is pretty good." TMZ.com

On Friday, ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy dropped some surprising news: recently retired NBA superstar Tracy McGrady is planning to pursue a baseball career with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters — best known as the team with which Roger Clemens made a short-lived comeback in 2012. On Tuesday, the team released a statement confirming the news: “Tracy McGrady is one of the most elite athletes of this era and we appreciate his interest in pursuing a life-long dream with the Sugar Land Skeeters and the Atlantic League. While the Atlantic League is considered the highest level of baseball outside of Major League Baseball, McGrady has demonstrated skill, determination and diligence during his training program at Constellation Field. We look forward to monitoring his progress.” For The Win

February 1, 2014 Updates

Tracy McGrady retired from professional basketball after last season, and word is that he may be gearing up for a second career in sports. During the Friday night game between the Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder, ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy hinted that T-Mac was considering playing baseball. “I think he’s going to play independent league baseball as a pitcher this year,” Van Gundy said. “I’m being serious. I’ve heard from sources in Houston — seriously — that he’s throwing over 90 miles per hour.” For The Win

November 19, 2013 Updates
November 1, 2013 Updates
October 24, 2013 Updates

Initially, there was some speculation that McGrady was going to return overseas for another season, that his retirement was only from the NBA and not from basketball altogether. However, McGrady says that was never the case and that he won’t be returning to the court – in any country. “I just wanted to play that one year and have my fans in China get to see me up close and personal before I shut it down,” McGrady said. “I really had no plans on playing over there again. I’m just so excited to be home with my family right now watching basketball, going to basketball games and becoming a fan now. I can take my kids to a Rockets game and be with them; that’s what I’m looking forward to. I don’t want to play basketball anymore, I’m over it. I enjoyed my 16-year career and now it’s time to open up that second chapter.” HoopsWorld

The 34-year-old McGrady wants to start the next chapter of his life so he decided it was time to walk away from the league that he had played in since he was a teenager out of Mount Zion Christian Academy. Now, less than two months into his retirement and days away from the start of the 2013-14 season, McGrady couldn’t be happier with his decision. “Shoot,” McGrady says, “I’m loving it.” HoopsWorld

“I was just drained and tired of the bull**** to be honest with you,” McGrady said. “Not really getting the opportunity to show what I could do, I wasn’t going to put myself through that kind of situation again. HoopsWorld

“Right now, I’m just enjoying my life and enjoying being free. It hasn’t been that way since I was 18 years old; every year grinding it out, getting my body ready for the NBA’s rigorous regular season. I’d be in training camp and preseason right now, but instead I get to relax and be with my kids, just enjoying life. My kids love it and I’m really enjoying the opportunity to be around them. My boys are seven and four right now and my daughters are 10 and five. Just to be able to go out and get to see them play in their little league, basketball league and soccer league, it feels so good to be out there and to see that. I love that. They love having me there, seeing them play, and that brings joy to me. Being away and traveling all the time during an NBA season, you don’t get those opportunities so I’m enjoying it.” HoopsWorld

“To go from the level I was playing at, to having my knee blow out on me and then to try to work out to get to that level again and just not being able to do it, that’s when I contemplated [using performance-enhancing drugs],” McGrady said. “I tried going to Germany [for platelet-rich plasma therapy] and I tried everything you could possibly try. I tried doing it the right way and it just didn’t happen. I got back healthy, but not to my explosive self. Confidence-wise and mentally, that was tough. It was probably the biggest challenge for me to get over. That hurdle was tough. It was just a mental block that I just couldn’t erase. I couldn’t do a lot of the moves that I was accustomed to doing, and it was challenging in the beginning. When I did overcome that, I had lost the desire to still play ball. The last three years, I gave it a go, but I was mentally ejected.” HoopsWorld

“I really don’t have any interest in coaching, but maybe I’ll be a GM,” McGrady said. “That’s something that I could see myself doing. I think playing in the league for so long and recognizing talent could help me in that job. Not only that, but I’m a student of the game. I know players, I know their tendencies, I know what they like to do. I have a high basketball I.Q. and I know the game. With that knowledge and experience, I think that would go a long way.” HoopsWorld

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