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Tracy McGrady says he considered using performance enhancing drugs

Oct 20, 2013, 6:30 PM EDT

Tracy McGrady retired this summer following a 15-year NBA career that will in all likelihood land him in the Hall of Fame.

There was a point in McGrady’s journey, however, where injuries started to cloud how well he could perform long before he decided to hang ’em up. And there was a time where he considered all options to get back to the player he once was physically.

Appearing on NBA TV’s Open Court, McGrady was very candid in discussing how he felt after struggling to rehabilitate fully from a knee injury, to the point where he admits to considering the use of performance enhancing drugs.

“I’ve never said this to nobody,” McGrady said. “Because I was playing at such a high level for so many years, and when I had my knee injury, I was doing everything in my will power to get back to that level. Naturally, I couldn’t do it. Because I just didn’t have the strength, I didn’t have the confidence, and I just didn’t believe that I was going to get there doing it naturally.

“I actually considered — I considered — getting an advantage. And whatever that was, doing it illegally … I considered that to get back.”

McGrady’s honesty is refreshing here, and you have to wonder just how many other players out there have had similar thoughts cross their mind.

[h/t: Sports Grid, via HoopsHype]

  1. JHathwell - Oct 20, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Sources say he also considered playing defense in 2003, but thought better of it.

  2. basketballgod87 - Oct 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM


  3. rickyspanish - Oct 20, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    McGrady has been super candid since he retired.

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 20, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      It’s pretty cool. I think it means more coming from him since he didn’t quite live up to what people thought his ceiling was.

  4. yousuxxors - Oct 20, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    I wish they would allow PED use for injuries. it sucks seeing great players or even good ones career end because of them.

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 20, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      THANK you! Someone had to say it.

    • homieshome - Oct 20, 2013 at 11:15 PM

      lol well it’s a shame to see but still it should absolutely not be aloud. Think about what you’re saying in realistic terms for a minute and you’ll see it’d still be unfair. And it’s not healthy man, go read up on the side effects, this stuff does not work as some legitimate rehabilitating medication for injuries, it’s hormone increase

    • gra42 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      They have better than that. Now they can get stem cells induced to potency from their own fat cells, like Kobe famously did in 2010.

  5. urodaddy07 - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Im not sure what PEDs we are referring to here but I don’t think there is actually any evidence that PEDs will benefit the athlete even in the short or medium term. They may be harmful.

    • detectivejimmymcnulty - Oct 21, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      I think people over look how PEDs can bring confidence to a player. T-Mac said he one of the things was confidence. They’re called “PERFORMANCE enhancing drugs” for a reason, but any sport takes as much mental skill as physical.

      Was Barry Bonds a great hitter? Sure. Would he have starting hitting homeruns on a record pace in is 30s if he didn’t use some kind of PED? No.

      • gra42 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        Not you detective, the troll above you! I do want to say this in response: HGH is widely reported to be a stress reducer in the way that Prozac was by people who used it in the ’90s.

    • gra42 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Sorry, but even in a lab setting, in petri dishes, PEDS demonstrate positive and dramatic effects on tissues with target cells (muscles, glands, etc., exposed to them. Yes, in the long term they can lead to dependency and adverse effects. There are entire volumes of peer-reviewed studies that show the clear effects that PEDs have on general and specific performance metrics.

      Better luck next time, troll. You know you’re in trouble when you start believing your own b.s.!

  6. peterm5 - Oct 21, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    I really like the fact that former players are stepping up and talking about PEDs.
    I believe players should be allowed to use whatever works.
    Look the old men that make the laws are all using PRDs in the bedroom.

    • peterm5 - Oct 21, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      I meant “PEDs in the bedroom”.

  7. gra42 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Tracy McGrady will not make the HOF. He had a season or two of great play, followed by a dozen on and off the bench and the I.R. The man was revealed to be unable to touch his toes without getting massage and adjustments in his early productive days in Houston, before all the injuries. Belay that. He probably got all the injuries in the first place because he didn’t bother to work on his flexibility. That’s not how a player with MVP awards and potential handles his preparation.

    • gra42 - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:33 PM

      I appreciate his honesty, though. Wish they had a Hall of Fame for that and class.

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