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Originally Published July 2012
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predetermined deal. They dealt me to Milwaukee and then to Portland." Perhaps it was because of a prior hip surgery that Tracy slipped to the 18th overall pick. He admits it didn't bother him at that time and he even had great workouts with the teams recruiting him. "Although my hip wasn't bothering me in any way, you couldn't help but see the long scar on my thigh during my physicals."

Murray goes on to talk about his rookie season and how he made adjustments into this new lifestyle. Armed with fame, fortune and the life he's worked all his life to obtain, one would think he would be content. It wasn't that simple according to Tracy.

"I was a starter all my life. Now, I had to make the adjustment of not playing at all. That was a huge rude awakening for me." Although Tracy dominated in practice, he explains politics played an extreme part in why he wasn't playing in games. "They had their team already set. What am I going to do on a team that just came from the finals with the (Chicago) Bulls? It's hard to break into that type of system, regardless of what you can bring to them. They felt like they needed a shooter and that's why they got me."





























As we reflect back on that time, Mr. Murray makes a good point. In Tracy's rookie season, Portland's roster included draft picks, Dave Johnson, (guard) Rod Strickland, Mario Ellie, Jerome Kersey, Cliff Robinson, Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter. Any of these players could have been starters on several other teams besides Portland. "That was a tough 2-1/2 years for me."

It is an unwritten rule that rookies, in all sports, get somewhat of the silent treatment from their new teammates. So we asked Tracy if there were any mentors that took him under their wings during the first few seasons of his career.

"It's very true. Some will play head games because they want to secure their positions. But one person that took me under his wings is Clyde Drexler. He saw that I was a good kid and when he was traded to Houston he took me with him. It was an already established team and they were trading for Clyde. They weren't trading for me.Ē

Tracy reminds us that although he has a championship ring with Houston, he wasn't on the playoff roster. "So, even that was a tough time." When asked about how that made him feel, knowing he wasn't going to be on the playoff roster, Tracy brings out the positive side of it. "Clyde and the rest of
the team sat me down and let me know how important I was to the organization. They made me feel like I was one of the most important people on the team, knowing I would be playing against them in practice." This is how Tracy's teammates prepared for the playoffs. So Tracy goes on to say he made it a point to bring it to them everyday at practice. Okay, we had to ask some of the obvious questions. One of which is who was the toughest defender you had against you? "One of my rival teams was the Chicago Bulls. When we played them they would always put Scottie Pippen or Toni Kukoc on me. That was a major challenge. Those guys kind off fueled my fire when I played against them and I did pretty well. I'd say the toughest defender I played against would be Keith Askins (now the assistant coach of the Miami Heat). He was all over you when he checked you. The best offensive players I played against were Scottie Pippin and Tracy McGrady."

Regarding his overseas play at the end of his 12 year NBA career, Tracy tells us about his overall take on it. "I played three years in Europe; two in Greece and one in France. It was a good experience. I learned a lot. I learned you don't get your money half the time. The first year in Greece was nice. The second year was a nightmare. I actually came out of retirement to play the third year in France. We had a coach who pretty much tore that team apart. We were in first place and this coach was worried about everything other than what was going on the court."

For those interested in perhaps playing professional basketball overseas, I asked Tracy about the competition in Europe compared to the United States. "For the normal guy it is a difficult process. There are millions of guys fighting for spots and they can only have so many Americans. Plus, because there are so many countries that have players in the NBA, they're feeling like American basketball isn't what it used to be so they're not going to pay you too much."

One point brought out was the relationship of your agent and overseas connections. "Your agent has to have good connections overseas in order to get you a spot. In Pro A the competition is tough so you have to bring it. Some Pro B teams are pretty tough as well. So it isn't easy getting over there."

Tracy's post profession resume' includes coaching, as well. "I was the third assistant coach and mentor for the NBA development team, Bakersfield (California) Jam. Also, I coached this summer with the WNBA's ----- Shock. For the last 15 years I continue to run and coach in summer basketball camps. I assist my brother, Cameron, with development skills and building confidence for young athletes. We're just trying to give back."

The youth leagues Tracy coaches is primarily for high school players, but he also emphasizes that athletes as young as the seventh grade can participate. This takes place every spring and summer. It is primarily his brother, Cameron Murray's program.

When asked about wearing his NBA championship ring, Tracy tells us he wears it when he works. When not coaching or running basketball camps, you can find Tracy on the radio commentating UCLA men's basketball games and appearing as a motivational speaker for various businesses and organizations.

When asked about wearing his NBA championship ring, Tracy tells us he wears it when he works. When not coaching or running basketball camps, you can find
                fter retiring from professional
                sports it isn't uncommon for athletes to fall outside of our radar.
However, we're always happy to catch up with some of our favorite sports figures and find them doing well for themselves and others.

Recently, we caught up with former NBA small forward, Tracy Murray. 'Not that he was hard to find. He's actually got his hands in quite a few things. But first, letís go through a bit of history on him
.
Starting at Glendora (CA) High School, we begin his impressive resume. It was here where California residents first began hearing about this outstanding shooter from a small city just 23 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

As a basketball player at Glendora High School, Murray scored 3053 points. He averaged 44.3 points per game during his senior year. What's most impressive about this feat is that Tracy didn't play his freshman year because he was injured.

Tracy states, "I was the all time leading scoring in California history at that time. Some people do it in four years. I did it in three because I had a hip injury. I had to have surgery and as a result had to sit out my freshman year."

Murray goes on to tell us "My body was going through some crazy changes and the doctor said I'd never play again. I grew from 5'10" to 6'4" in three years. The doctors had to go in to do corrective surgery and it was a challenge just to walk, let alone play basketball. It was a good thing I was young and hard-headed and didn't listen to those doctors."

It was hard work and determination that kept Tracy going. He would often confide in his dad, who had a try out with the Detroit Pistons many years earlier. It became quite common to see young Tracy in the gym shooting hundreds of jump shots from stationary positions. It took many hours of rehabilitation before he regained mobile movement in his legs.

Tracy notes a mentor who was like a father figure to him. "Jim Davis was a close friend and mentor to my parents and was like a grandfather to me. He ran the Pasadena Boy's and Girls Club. I would go there and practice everyday. Mr. Davis would unlock the gym and let us in. I began working on getting my body back into basketball shape." He continues, "Even though I went to Glendora High School, I was a Pasadena kid. Many talented athletes and entertainers came out of Pasadena during that time."

Murray begins to tell about the pressures of entering the NBA, but first, we have to give out a few of his UCLA accomplishments. Murray played three years at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) before declaring himself eligible for the 1992 NBA draft.

Tracy picks up with draft day. "The crazy thing about the draft is that experts tell you where you're supposed to go in the draft. They said I'd be a mid pick but wouldn't slip pass the Los Angeles Lakers or Clippers. They were somewhere around 15th and 16th pick. But I did slip pass them and it was nervous time because I didn't work out for any other teams below that. So, when San Antonio selected me, it was a surprise. At that time, coach Tarkanian was coaching them and he had recruited me in high school to come to UNLV He also coached my dad in college, so there was a connection. I didn't end up playing there because it was a
A
MoeHeat Magazine
Tracy Murray
NBA Champion Turned Coach, Mentor, and Analyst
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Tracy on the radio commentating UCLA men's basketball games and appearing as a motivational speaker for various businesses and organizations. Okay, we had to ask some of the obvious questions. One of which is who was the toughest defender you had against you? "One of my rival teams was the Chicago Bulls. When we played them they would always put Scottie Pippen or Toni Kukoc on me. That was a major challenge. Those guys kind off fueled my fire when I played against them and I did pretty well. I'd say the toughest defender I played against would be Keith Askins (now the assistant coach of the Miami Heat). He was all over you when he checked you. The best offensive players I played against were Scottie Pippin and Tracy McGrady."

Regarding his overseas play at the end of his 12 year NBA career, Tracy tells us about his overall take on it. "I played three years in Europe; two in Greece and one in France. It was a good experience. I learned a lot. I learned you don't get your money half the time. The first year in Greece was nice. The second year was a nightmare. I actually came out of retirement to play the third year in France. We had a coach who pretty much tore that team apart. We were in first place and this coach was worried about everything other than what was going on the court."

For those interested in perhaps playing professional basketball overseas, I asked Tracy about the competition in Europe compared to the United States. "For the normal guy it is a difficult process. There are millions of guys fighting for spots and they can only have so many Americans. Plus, because there are so many countries that have players in the NBA, they're feeling like American basketball isn't what it used to be so they're not going to pay you too much."


One point brought out was the relationship of your agent and overseas connections. "Your agent has to have good connections overseas in order to get you a spot. In Pro A the competition is tough so you have to bring it. Some Pro B teams are pretty tough as well. So it isn't easy getting over there."

Tracy's post profession resume' includes coaching, as well. "I was the third assistant coach and mentor for the NBA development team, Bakersfield (California) Jam. Also, I coached this summer with the WNBA's ----- Shock. For the last 15 years I continue to run and coach in summer basketball camps. I assist my brother, Cameron, with development skills and building confidence for young athletes. We're just trying to give back."

The youth leagues Tracy coaches is primarily for high school players, but he also emphasizes that athletes as young as the seventh grade can participate. This takes place every spring and summer. It is primarily his brother, Cameron Murray's program.

When asked about wearing his NBA championship ring, Tracy tells us he wears it when he works. When not coaching or running basketball camps, you can find Tracy on the radio commentating UCLA men's basketball games and appearing as a motivational speaker for various businesses and organizations.

When asked about wearing his NBA championship ring, Tracy tells us he wears it when he works. When not coaching or running basketball camps, you can find Tracy on the radio commentating UCLA men's basketball games and appearing as a motivational speaker for various businesses and organizations.
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Tracy Murray holding his personal copy of MoeHeat Magazine featuring him on the cover.
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