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Tracy McGrady retires from baseball after recording first career strikeout

Tracy McGradyTracy McGrady retired from professional baseball on Wednesday after recording the first strikeout of his career.

McGrady, who was a 7-time All-Star during a 15-season NBA career, began a secondary career as a pro baseball player this year. A high school pitcher who called baseball his first love, T-Mac worked with coaches on his pitching and even trained with Roger Clemens. He made his debut for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters in April and started four games for the team.

McGrady started the Atlantic League All-Star Game on Wednesday and told the team that would be his last game.

“It has been a tremendous ride,” McGrady told CBS Houston. “It is my last game today. I informed the team this would be my last outing and I appreciate them giving me this opportunity to start the game and enjoy this great mid-summers classic.

“This has been an awesome year. Not having my basketball career end the way I wanted but having the opportunity to be friends with some of the guys and get to know them and compete with them, learn from them every day, it’s been an honor.”

McGrady gave up a hit, walk and run in 1.1 innings. He struck out All-Star Bryan Pounds for the final out of his career and only strikeout he recorded in pro ball. McGrady went 0-2 with 4 hits, 10 walks and 5 runs allowed in 6.2 innings for the Skeeters.

When you figure how little training and preparation McGrady had compared to everyone else in pro ball, he put together a respectable career. Good for him that he got to enjoy a second career.

Cavs reportedly willing to include Andrew Wiggins in Kevin Love trade

Andrew-WigginsThe Cleveland Cavaliers are still interested in acquiring Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves, and they may be willing to pay a steep price for the star forward. According to Bob Finnan of The News-Herald, the Cavs are now open to including No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins in a potential trade for Love.

Finnan also reports that LeBron James wants Love on the Cavs roster, which could ultimately be the reason a deal gets done.

The Cavs were originally trying to finagle a trade with Minnesota that would allow them to hold onto Wiggins, but it quickly became clear that the Timberwolves have no interest in working out a deal with Cleveland if the former Kansas star is not involved. Given how many teams have expressed interest in Love, that is not a surprise.

Wiggins has already drawn comparisons to Kobe Bryant, despite never having appeared in an NBA game. The 19-year-old has tremendous potential and has looked pretty sharp in summer league games, averaging 13.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. That said, Love has already proven that he can dominate at the NBA level.

LeBron will turn 30 next season. If the Cavs hang onto Wiggins and allow him to grow alongside LeBron and Kyrie Irving, there’s a chance he could become one of the better players in the league. However, the thinking with acquiring Love is that the Cavs will be a better team in the short term and may not need as much time to be championship ready.

Personally, I don’t think the Cavs can lose whichever way they go. They might end up kicking themselves five years down the road if they trade Wiggins, but the hope would be that they have a championship or two to help soften the blow.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Dion Waiters does not want to come off the bench

Dion WaitersThe Cleveland Cavaliers have a solid core of young players, which is probably one of the main reasons LeBron James decided to rejoin them. One of those players is former Syracuse star Dion Waiters, but it would not be shocking if he was not around at the start of the 2014-2015 season.

Depending on what happens with No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, the Cavs could wind up with a somewhat crowded back court. Kyrie Irving obviously has the point guard duties locked down, so one of Waiters or Wiggins will likely come off the bench. Waiters doesn’t sound willing to accept that role, as evidenced by this tweet that was captured by Hoops Fix before it was deleted.

Dion-Waiters-tweet

Waiters later implied that he was just messing around.

The tweet wouldn’t be as interesting if not for a report last year that Waiters was not getting along with some of his teammates and was open to being traded. There has supposedly been friction between Waiters and Irving over what Waiters perceives as Irving playing buddy ball with Tristan Thompson, and you have to wonder if adding Wiggins and LeBron to the mix will mean even fewer touches for Waiters. That might not sit well with him.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Report: Rajon Rondo makes it hard for Celtics to attract free agents

Rajon-Rondo-CelticsRajon Rondo will never be known as the easiest player to coach. Doc Rivers alluded to that on several occasions during his tenure with the Boston Celtics.

But how is Rondo as a teammate?

While the Celtics point guard certainly does a great job of sharing the ball and getting everyone involved, he’s not exactly the most affable character. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman even says the presence of Rondo makes the Celtics less attractive to some free agents.

[Related: Rajon Rondo skipped team trip without permission?]

Goodman had an interesting back-and-forth with Jeff Clark of SB Nation’s Celtics Blog on Thursday morning. Clark questioned Goodman’s belief that the Celtics should trade Rondo. That led to this exchange:

Goodman later said that he would not drop any names, as the conversations he had with players who don’t want to play with Rondo were off the record. We know Rondo and Ray Allen struggled to get along in their last season together in Boston, with Rondo later referring to Allen as “that guy.

Kevin Love met Rondo during his trip to Boston last month, and as far as we know Love would still be willing to accept a trade to the Celtics and sign a long-term deal. Perhaps Love is the exception rather than the rule.

[Also see - Ex-teammate says Rondo is a diva, but in a good way]

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Erik Spoelstra: LeBron ‘at peace’ with decision to leave Heat

LeBron-James-Erik-Spoelstra-MVPOne of the reasons LeBron James said he wanted to announce his decision to return to Cleveland with a Sports Illustrated essay was to avoid the media speculating that he and Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra did not get along. LeBron said that is “absolutely not true,” and Spoelstra echoed those sentiments on Tuesday.

While speaking to reporters after a Heat summer league game, Spoelstra had nothing but positive things to say about LeBron and his choice.

“He seemed at peace with the decision,” he said, via ESPN.com. “We don’t have any regrets. He shouldn’t have any regrets. It was a historic four-year run.”

As for the future of the Heat, Spoelstra said that part of his job is to expect change and be able to adapt.

“This league does teach you that it’s inevitable that there’s constant change, and you always have to continue to embrace change, adapt with change,” Spoelstra added. “This is a big, monumental change that we didn’t necessarily anticipate, but you have to respect it because when you’re a free agent in this league, you have the right to make a decision that’s best for you and your family. When he made that decision that was best for his family, where his heart is, all you can do from our side is respond with respect and love.”

There was talk about LeBron not wanting to play for Spoelstra from day one, and the two went on to win two championships and appear in four straight NBA Finals together. Overall, I’d say their four-year relationship was a success.

LeBron James Dumb and Dumber mashup is fantastic (Video)

You know what has been the best thing about LeBron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers? The hilarious memes and mashups the internet has pumped out. The “Dumb and Dumber” scooter scene is no exception.

If you have seen “Dumb and Dumber” — and if you haven’t I don’t know what’s wrong with you — this mashup really needs no explanation. It’s one of the best comedy movie scenes of all time and fits perfectly for LeBron’s decision. Absolute A+ work.

Which did you think was better — the “Dumb and Dumber” mashup or LeBron hitting Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade with a chair WWE style?

LeBron-James-Dumb-and-Dumber

Thanks to @Grayson_Gregory for the tip

Saying “Really Motherf***er” to a referee got Ivan Johnson ejected from a summer league game (Video)

The NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League is a place for rookies to get some court time with their new teams and a good opportunity for others to impress in hopes of landing a spot on a roster for the upcoming season.

ivan-johnson-hawksIvan Johnson, formerly of the Atlanta Hawks, most recently played for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls over in China and has bounced around between various leagues during his professional career. Now, he’s suiting up for the Dallas Mavericks during the summer league. On Wednesday, Johnson, who has been known for less than appropriate behavior in the past, managed to get himself tossed from the Mavericks’ game against the Charlotte Hornets for an outburst directed toward a referee.

Overall, the summer league is a fairly laid back environment. That being said, saying “Really Motherf***er” in the direction of a referee still isn’t going to go over well. That obviously didn’t stop Ivan Johnson from letting it fly though.

H/T SB Nation