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Former New York Knicks’ Tracy McGrady Eyeing Baseball Career

February 1st, 2014 at 3:49 PM
By Matt Agne

Tracy McGrady was only on the New York Knicks for a short amount of time. However, his presence alone brought a lot of excitement to Madison Square Garden. Even as a shell of himself McGrady was always box office material. And healthy, he might have been one of the best all-time players. Quite frankly, he was sensational. However, now he's trying to become a professional in another sport. With a fastball in the low 90's, McGrady is attempting to make it as a pitcher with his eyes on the MLB.

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At 6'8", 225 pounds Tracy McGrady was a specimen of a basketball player. His pure basketball skills allowed him to play for seven NBA teams and one team in China from 1997-2013. During his time in the NBA he was the NBA Most Improved Player in 2001, a two-time scoring champion (2003-03) and a seven-time NBA All-Star (2001-07). He also recorded 18,381 points (19.6 ppg), recorded 5,276 rebounds (5.6 rpg) and dished 4,161 (4.4 apg).

Unfortunately a bum knee put an end to the amazing start to his career and left him rehabbing for years. Many thought he'd eventually get his legs under him. Others thought he'd never be anything more than a part-time bench player. No one thought he'd retire only to emerge from nowhere with a 91 mile per hour fastball with aspirations to pitch in the major leagues.

Sean Highkin of USA Today reports former 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.”

Van Gundy said McGrady planned to join the Sugar Land Skeeters, best known as the team that Roger Clemens briefly pitched for in 2012.

Shawn Ramsey of Fox Sports Southwest reports McGrady has always had a love for baseball.

McGrady's love for America's Pastime isn't exactly new news, he's said for a long time that baseball has always had a special place in his heart.

"I love baseball. That was my first love," McGrady said last fall after the deal for the Biloxi team was official. "Even to this day I love baseball more than I love basketball."

McGrady even hinted back in 2001 that he might want to give baseball a try someday.

Now, lets be honest. If McGrady is truly determined to be a pitcher he'll likely get the chance. Star power allows for opportunities like that. It's likely he'll get a tryout and maybe even a contract. Of course, the appeal for fans won't hurt either. You know people will show up to see McGrady play, even if it is baseball.

It will be very interesting to see how far this goes and if McGrady is actually major league material. That is a large frame to keep moving in the right direction after all. It will also be interesting to see how his knee holds up to planting and landing off the mound.

What might be more interesting is to see if baseball gives McGrady a chance to chase after that elusive championship. For as great as McGrady was at one time he was never able to reach the second round of the NBA playoffs. That streak ended when he joined the San Antonio Spurs. However, they lost to the Miami Heat and McGrady's career ended. Baseball might give him another chance at a ring.

First we have to find out if he can hack it on a minor league level, let alone a major league level. One thing we know is that he's athletic. However, he's also 34 years old so he's not exactly a spring chicken. That being said, this could be fun to watch.

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Tags: Basketball, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Tracy McGrady

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