Tracy McGrady May Attempt Baseball CareerBy: Shana Norris - February 1, 2014
It looks like Tracy McGrady may be considering a career in baseball after retiring from the NBA last year.
ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy set off a swirl of rumors during a telecast of Friday night’s game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“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.”
Van Gundy, who has coached for the New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets, hinted that McGrady may join the Sugar Land Skeeters. The team – located in the greater Houston metropolitan area – is a member of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
Randy McIlvoy of KPRC-Houston echoed Van Gundy’s prediction:
McGrady, known in the sports world as T-Mac – retired last year after playing for numerous professional teams throughout his 16 years in the NBA.
A seven-time All-Star, McGrady entered the NBA straight out of high school in 1997, starting his career with the Toronto Raptors, and moving on to Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, and Detroit Pistons. His stint in Houston was actually the longest time he spent with any one team, playing there from 2004 to 2010.
At the time of his retirement, he was playing for another Texas team – the San Antonio Spurs.
When McGrady announced his retirement on ESPN’s First Take, he said he was excited and happy about what was to come. He said his run in the NBA had been a great one.
But he alluded to the fact that his time with the Atlanta Hawks, Qingdao Eagles (of the Chinese Basketball Association), and the Spurs had not lived up to his expectations: “I can’t allow myself to settle. The last three years have mentally ejected me from the game,” McGrady said.
At one point, McGrady called baseball his first love:
That may explain why he joined forces with his friend Tim Bennett, president of Jackson, Mississippi-based Overtime Sports to fund a minor league baseball team in Biloxi, MS.
The team will be a Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The stadium groundbreaking took place in January.
Bennett was instrumental in getting the Atlanta Braves to move their Double-A team to the Jackson suburb of Pearl from Greenville, SC back in 2004.
Image via Wikimedia Commons