Retired seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady worked out with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant late this summer in a Southern California gymnasium, testing the preparedness of his body for a possible NBA comeback attempt.
"Yes, I was working out with K.B. to get in shape and see how my body feels," McGrady told Yahoo Sports in an email Tuesday night.
Bryant and McGrady, 35, worked out three days a week for a period of time in August, several sources, including McGrady, told Yahoo.
At least two NBA teams were contacted over the summer about their potential interest in McGrady, but none registered a desire to further explore the possibility, league executives told Yahoo Sports.
McGrady is contractually obligated to a lucrative basketball tour of China in October, which would make it impossible for him to try and make an NBA team in training camp. McGrady is still an immensely popular figure in China, dating back to his partnership with Yao Ming on the Houston Rockets.
"The comeback will not happen, unless I have the drive whenever I get back," McGrady told Yahoo in the email.
Knee and back injuries had taken their toll on McGrady's reedy body, causing diminished durability and performance late in his career.
McGrady had been unable to get a guaranteed NBA contract for the 2012-13 season and instead played in China. Upon McGrady's return from the China Basketball Association that April, the San Antonio Spurs signed him on the final day of the regular season to join their playoff roster. He didn't play any meaningful minutes on the team's run to the NBA Finals.
McGrady publicly retired from the NBA in August 2013.
McGrady made a short-lived professional baseball debut in the spring, spending several weeks as a starting pitcher with the Sugarland Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.
In his 15-year NBA career, McGrady won two regular-season scoring titles and was selected first- or second-team All-NBA five times. He made the leap from high school to the NBA in 1997, when he was chosen ninth overall by the Toronto Raptors.
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