Tracy McGrady Talks Retirement, China, Future

Seven-time NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady announced his retirement this offseason, and while it initially appeared as if he’d leave the door open to continue playing in China, it now looks like his playing career is over. As T-Mac prepares to transition into the next stage of his career, he spoke at length with Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld about his decision to retire and his future plans. Here are a few highlights from the discussion:

On playing reduced roles over the last few seasons, and how that led to his retirement decision:

“I was just drained and tired of the bull****, to be honest with you. Not really getting the opportunity to show what I could do, I wasn’t going to put myself through that kind of situation again. Right now, I’m just enjoying my life and enjoying being free. It hasn’t been that way since I was 18 years old; every year grinding it out, getting my body ready for the NBA’s rigorous regular season. I’d be in training camp and preseason right now, but instead I get to relax and be with my kids, just enjoying life.”

On how knee injuries limited his productivity as an NBA player:

“I tried going to Germany [for platelet-rich plasma therapy] and I tried everything you could possibly try. I tried doing it the right way and it just didn’t happen. I got back healthy, but not to my explosive self. Confidence-wise and mentally, that was tough. It was probably the biggest challenge for me to get over. That hurdle was tough. It was just a mental block that I just couldn’t erase. I couldn’t do a lot of the moves that I was accustomed to doing, and it was challenging in the beginning. When I did overcome that, I had lost the desire to still play ball. The last three years, I gave it a go, but I was mentally ejected.”

On the possibility of playing in China again:

“I just wanted to play that one year and have my fans in China get to see me up close and personal before I shut it down. I really had no plans on playing over there again…. I don’t want to play basketball anymore, I’m over it. I enjoyed my 16-year career and now it’s time to open up that second chapter.”

On his future aspirations:

“I really don’t have any interest in coaching, but maybe I’ll be a GM. That’s something that I could see myself doing. I think playing in the league for so long and recognizing talent could help me in that job. Not only that, but I’m a student of the game. I know players, I know their tendencies, I know what they like to do. I have a high basketball I.Q. and I know the game. With that knowledge and experience, I think that would go a long way.”

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