ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Tracy McGrady retired from the NBA over the summer after a 16-year career. But his days as a professional athlete might not be finished.
During the Thunder/Nets game on Friday night, ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy mentioned that McGrady — who played for Van Gundy in Houston — was considering becoming a baseball pitcher. Van Gundy said McGrady was going to play independent league baseball this summer, and that in workouts McGrady was throwing over 90 miles per hour.
McGrady talked about his love of baseball frequently even when he was playing in the NBA. A Houston-based sports anchor followed up on Van Gundy’s news with his own info via Twitter…
Since then, according to another report out of Houston, a professional baseball scout who has been working with McGrady says this isn’t unthinkable…
“When Tracy came out I was already to tell him, ‘Tracy I don’t want you to get embarrassed going out here doing that,’” Spinks said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.
“Once he got on the mound and started throwing, I looked at Deacon Jones (special assistant to the Skeeters president), Deacon looked at me, and (I said) there’s something there.”
After Spinks began working with McGrady he became convinced the seven-time NBA All-Star could play professional baseball.
“If the season starts tomorrow Tracy McGrady will be able to pitch on that Skeeters team,” Spinks said.
Spinks and McGrady have been working at Constellation Field, the home park of the Sugar Land Skeeters.
“He’s not throwing as hard as everybody said,” Spinks said. “I don’t know where that came from.
“(McGrady is throwing) between 85 and 86 miles per hour and that’s without adrenalin, that’s without hitters at the plate and the longer he throws, the looser he’ll get and the harder he’ll throw.
“I can see him throwing in the 90s, but he’s nowhere in the 90s now, not even close.”