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Tracy McGrady considering NBA comeback

Tracy-McGrady-SpursTracy McGrady seems to be having a midlife crisis of sorts. The seven-time NBA All-Star retired from baseball last month after recording his first and only strikeout in professional ball. Does McGrady now have basketball back on the brain?

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, McGrady worked out with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles this summer to figure out if his body might be able to handle an NBA comeback.

“Yes, I was working out with K.B. to get in shape and see how my body feels,” McGrady told Woj.

At least two NBA teams say they were contacted over the summer about their potential interest in McGrady, but none of them plan to give the 35-year-old a chance. McGrady played in the Chinese Basketball Association last year before joining the San Antonio Spurs for their championship run. He is still under contract in China, meaning he could not join an NBA team in training camp.

“The contact will not happen, unless I have the drive whenever I get back,” McGrady said.

McGrady’s body rapidly started to break down after he was one of the NBA’s top scorers for years. He played 15 seasons and won two scoring titles but played no significant minutes with the Spurs during their postseason run. An NBA comeback seems high unlikely.

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.

Tracy McGrady makes season debut for Sugar Land Skeeters (Video)

Back when former NBA All-Star and scoring champion Tracy McGrady made his intentions of making a go of professional baseball known, there was no guarantee he would make a regular season roster.

mcgrady-debutIn his first appearance with the Sugar Land Skeeters, a scrimmage against Alvin Community College, McGrady surrendered three hits and one run in his lone inning of work. That outing, along with what manager Gary Gaetti saw during workouts, was apparently enough to earn McGrady a spot on the opening day roster.

On Saturday, McGrady took the mound for his Atlantic League regular season debut against the Somerset Patriots. Here are the results.

It wasn’t a performance many would call good, but for a guy who is 34-years-old and has barely pitched since high school McGrady wasn’t necessarily a disaster.

Tracy McGrady starts, pitches one inning for Sugar Land Skeeters in exhibition game

tracy-mcgrady-pitching1When former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady confirmed his intentions to give baseball a go, more than a few people probably shrugged it off. But, this is a real thing that is happening.

The Sugar Land Skeeters, who finished first in the Freedom Division of the Atlantic League last season, get their 2014 season underway next Thursday.

Leading up to opening day, the team has a few exhibition games scheduled. On Wednesday, the Skeeters welcomed Alvin Community College to Constellation Field and their starting pitcher for the game was none other than T-Mac himself.

Because you want to see Tracy McGrady’s name on the lineup card, here it is.

Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston has a few stats from McGrady’s outing.

The Skeeters currently have 34 players in camp and must trim the squad to 27 by next Thursday, so Tracy McGrady has a week to prove he belongs.

Tracy McGrady’s pitching mechanics could use some work (Video)

Tracy McGrady had a workout Wednesday at Constellation Field — the home of the Sugar Land Skeeters — that was available to the media. Thankfully for us, KBME in Houston grabbed some video of him pitching so that we could finally see how he looks.

Though McGrady doesn’t look bad as a pitcher, his mechanics could use some work.

Brace yourself: we’re going to get a little technical here.

Right now T-Mac is just all arm, which is not uncommon for someone new to pitching. He’s not getting anything from his lower body on his pitches.

As soon as his hands meet in his leg kick, his front hip starts moving forward and his lead leg comes open:

Tracy McGrady pitching

The rushed movement is causing T-Mac’s arm to come through late and in a windmill type motion.

What T-Mac needs to do is work on his balance after he goes into his leg kick so he isn’t rushed to start moving forward. He needs to sit down on his back leg and use that as a spring to push off towards the plate and give him power on his pitches. He also needs to work on separating his right hand from his glove quicker so it doesn’t lag behind his body.

Come on, T-Mac, I thought you were working with Roger Clemens on your pitching? Did you see the Rocket’s lower body? Guy’s legs and behind were huge. That’s where he got a lot of his power from. You need to start doing the same thing!

(yes, I used to give private pitching lessons and still do on occasion)

Tracy McGrady intends to pitch for Sugar Land Skeeters

Tracy McGrady

The Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League confirmed on Tuesday that they have interest in former NBA star Tracy McGrady, who is attempting a second career as a professional baseball player.

The Skeeters, who are an independent baseball team, sent out a press release to media outlets including Larry Brown Sports stating that there is mutual interest between them and T-Mac.

Former Houston Rocket and NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady confirmed today his intention to pursue a pitching career with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Below is a statement from the Skeeters club:

“Trady 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.”

The Skeeters begin their season in April. They have a number of former Major League players on their roster, and Roger Clemens pitched for them two years ago. Clemens also reportedly has been training McGrady, who long has had an interest in playing baseball. While he was in the NBA, the two-time scoring champion called baseball his first love.

If McGrady does make a start for the Skeeters this season, you know I’ll be watching.

Tracy McGrady may try second career as pro baseball player

Tracy McGradyTracy McGrady announced his retirement from the NBA over the summer, but that doesn’t mean he’s done playing professional sports. In fact, his former coach with the Houston Rockets, Jeff Van Gundy, says T-Mac is working towards a career in professional baseball. Seriously.

The note about McGrady came up during ESPN’s telecast of the Oklahoma City Thunder-Brooklyn Nets game on Friday night. ESPN showed a graphic of the players who had the most consecutive 30+ point games in the last 30 years. The stat came up because Kevin Durant had 12 in a row, making him two shy of matching T-Mac, who did it in the 2002-2003 season, and four shy of tying Kobe Bryant, who also did it during the ’02-’03 season. The stat prompted Van Gundy to share the baseball note about McGrady.

“Speaking real quickly of McGrady, I think he’s going to play independent league baseball as a pitcher this year. In the independent league,” Van Gundy said.

Play-by-play announcer Mike Breen was obviously stunned and asked if Van Gundy was being serious.

“I’m being serious. I’ve heard from sources in Houston — seriously — that he’s throwing over 90 miles per hour. The Sugar Land Skeeters — Roger Clemens pitched for them last year, it was awesome.”

Clemens actually pitched for the Skeeters two years ago, but his son, Koby, still catches for them.

As for McGrady, his interest in a baseball career is actually nothing new.

In 2006, McGrady said he wanted to pursue a career in baseball when he was done with basketball.

“I’m going to play baseball at the end of my (basketball) career,” McGrady said via NBA.com. “I guess (TNT) took that to mean the end of my contract. But who knows what I’m going to do in four years?”

McGrady made his comments in an interview with TNT. T-Mac said then that he has a legitimate arsenal of pitches.

“I think I’ll be done with this game in my early 30’s,” McGrady said. “I would be a pitcher. I got a knuckleball, slider, changeup, curve and whatever.”

McGrady is an investor in a baseball team in Biloxi and has said that baseball is his first love. He was a two-sport star in high school.

The Skeeters have a slew of former major leaguers on the team, such as Jason Lane, Gary Majewski, Ryan Langerhans, David Pauley and Clay Hensley, so being able to compete at that level is no joke. But if he can throw 90+ mph and has different pitches, then McGrady might legitimately have the goods to compete. We sure would love to seem him try.

McGrady also has a relationship with the Skeeters; he threw out the first pitch at one of their games two years ago.

And if T-Mac does end up on the Skeeters, he’d be teammates with former LB travel ball teammate Steve Moss, who led the Skeeters with a .318 batting average last season!