Tracy McGrady was once one of the most entertaining players in the NBA, but in his new position, he’ll be asked to provide a different sort of entertainment. He’s been hired by ESPN as a regular on The Jump, a daily basketball show premiering on Thursday to be hosted by Rachel Nichols.
McGrady will also appear on SportsCenter and other news programs as an occasional analyst, according to the network’s release. It won’t be McGrady’s first time in front of the camera, however; the former Rockets star has made a few appearances on NBAtv, and not always with the correct wardrobe.
Tracy is the latest in a long line of former NBA stars to appear on ESPN as a talking head. Many have found success and even critical acclaim; many have flopped. McGrady isn’t as high-profile a personality as, say, Shaquille O’Neal, who has both his fans and his detractors. But in terms of ESPN hirings, he’s arguably their biggest “get” since Magic Johnson.
Most analysts with staying power have tended to be role players like Tim Legler and Bruce Bowen, guys who had to hone their minds to stay in the league when more athletic bodies were always coming up from behind.
Former bench players, stars and everything in between have been asked to provide analysis when their playing days are up, and it’ll be interesting to see what role McGrady will play on The Jump.