McGrady says retirement a possibility

Updated: April 15, 2010, 11:52 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tracy McGrady is at a career crossroads, and he knows it.

The New York Knicks' swingman remains optimistic that an extensive training program this summer can help him regain the form that made him an NBA All-Star. But if his game doesn't return, he'll retire, he said Wednesday.

"If it don't happen this summer, I'll ride off into the sunset," McGrady told reporters before sitting out the Knicks' season finale, a 131-113 loss at Toronto.

mcGrady If I could go through another offseason of working my [butt] off, and I don't feel I'm getting any better, I can't see myself coming back playing the way I'm playing right now. I just don't see it happening.

-- Tracy McGrady

"If I could go through another offseason of working my [butt] off, and I don't feel I'm getting any better, I can't see myself coming back playing the way I'm playing right now. I just don't see it happening," he said.

McGrady has played in just 65 games total the past two seasons after battling injuries and recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee. The last 24 of those games were played with the Knicks, who acquired McGrady -- and his expiring contract -- in a trade with the Houston Rockets in February.

McGrady scored 26 points in his debut with the Knicks, on Feb. 20 against the Thunder. But he cracked the 20-point plateau just two more times and finished the season averaging 8.2 points per game, well below his career 21.5 ppg scoring average.

"You know what, after I realized I had something in the tank -- there were some games I did play well -- I was, like, really trying not to get hurt," McGrady told reporters on Wednesday.

"[Coach Mike D'Antoni] knew I wasn't going to be the T-Mac he was used to competing against when he was in Phoenix," McGrady said. "I knew I wasn't going to be that, but it was good for me to finally get out there and see where I was at physically after missing 1½ years of basketball."

Still, McGrady is hopeful a summer of intense training will extend his career. He's a free agent and though his future in New York is doubtful, he hopes he can catch on with a contender next season -- or at least resemble the player who won a pair of NBA scoring titles.

"I feel confident that I will be able to go and not worry about calling it quits," he said. "It's just been too much of constantly just grinding and trying to get it back. Mentally, it took a toll on me the last couple of years. I don't want to go through that again.

"This summer, I will continue to work hard and get myself and get in good shape and pay the best money doctors can buy and physical therapists and everything to get myself where I need to be."

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