Focus on an ambitious project

Away from the NBA pitches for nearly a decade, Tracy McGrady recently embarked on an entirely new venture called The Ones Basketball League (OBL), which, as its name suggests, corresponds to creating a true one against one. No wonder it comes from a discipline specialist and one of the best scorers in the NBA of his generation. But this initiative isn’t just a retirement tool for T-Mac, it’s so much more than that. to focus.

We already talked quite a bit about the concept at the beginning of 2022, when McGrady announced the launch of an all-new one-on-one professional league. Five months later, we learned a lot about the nature of the project, and the latter has held its first competitions since May 1, from Houston to Chicago via Atlanta. Interview by Mike Vokonov from the athlete This month, T-Mac spoke in depth about its vision, goals, and what drove them.

Where did the idea for OBL come from?

Tracy McGrady and the one-on-one is a true love story. Those who lived president From T-Mac through the first half of the 2000s, remember an unstoppable offensive player who won back-to-back scoring titles for the Orlando Magic. “The hardest player in defense” Until Kobe Bryant declared himself, evidence of the greatness of a man with an orange ball in his hands. From Tracy’s point of view, it’s one person alone “basketball core”. A ball, two players, a basket, in short, there is nothing better. And as he points out, even in five against five, we’ll always find one against one at some point. All this to say is that T-Mac has his blood on and it seems only natural that he is embarking on a project like the Basketball League. But what drove him on this path is not only his purely individual connection to basketball, but also what he sees and hears every day when he meets the youth of today.

“I have two sons, 16 and 13. I also have an AAU program, so I get a lot of information from that. These kids don’t watch the NBA, they don’t watch the NCAA. They don’t have enough attention span to sit for two and a half or three hours to watch Live sporting event.

When I walk into gyms to watch Al Ain University matches, I talk a lot about individual basketball. Who is better at singles play, you or Kobe? You or KD? You or LeBron? I get asked about it all the time. »

Purely one-on-one duels, YouTube spotlights, and rowdy crossovers, that’s what T-Mac says kids of the current generation love the most, a generation immersed in social networks every day like Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. So when Tracy sees it, he sees above all an opportunity to present a unique concept on the fringes of traditional leagues. Because the demand is there and can open opportunities for players who want to showcase their individual talent outside the concept of a team, where skills can sometimes be constrained by team systems and limited role. Watch the Ice Cube’s BIG3 League of 3 vs. 3? And Bah McGrady wants to do the same but one by one to give a real showcase to these great individual talents who have failed to make a career in basketball for one reason or another. way to give them ” Second chance “ One way or another for the T-Mac.

“In the parks, the energy goes crazy when you go one-on-one. There are leagues in some states, I know the level of play that can be found in certain neighborhoods, and I would like people to be aware of the level of skill that is there. You know, not everyone can Getting into the NBA, or playing abroad. »

Ones Basketball League Concept Summary

Now that you know the motives of the T-Mac, let’s take a closer look at the concept of Ones Basketball League itself. A one-on-one league is good, but other than that? So here are some details. The first is that we are in a 12-second clock. The draw must be blocked quickly, so the player has 12 seconds to draw a shot. Regardless of the outcome of this offensive possession, the ball’s hands change afterwards. There is no doubt that the player is allowed to dodge the defensive side thanks to the offensive capabilities and above-average baskets that are linked together. ” In a one-on-one confrontation, everyone must defend.” He rightly remembers Tracy, and that’s not so bad. On the other hand, we don’t know if the winner got the points system (as in 11 or 21) or if the matches were played within the allotted time. But the basic concept is pretty cool.

In addition to the purely basketball aspect of this new league, there is also a whole marketing aspect that is willing to put in place to celebrate the style and exclusivity of the different players. Tracy McGrady doesn’t just want to let each player’s character express themselves for great one-on-one duels, whether it’s a first-class garbage navigator or a guy who collects baskets together without a word to Kawhi. But above all, he wants to make the best real stars in this field, inspired for example by what is done in other individual sports such as tennis, boxing or even UFC / MMA.

“You can become a real character. And if you’re really good in this singles league while you have real character, who knows what you might become? Look at the UFC guys, look at a guy like Conor McGregor.” [star de l’UFC, ndlr.]. This kind of phenomenon can occur in OBA. And that’s what we want to do with this league. »

very ambitious project

Where does Tracy McGrady see her project in a few years? He sees too far. Despite the challenges that came with creating such a league in the COVID climate we saw between March 2020 and the end of 2021, T-Mac wants to ensure that OBL has a real place in the NBA scene. The BIG3 League we talked about a while ago. The latter airs today on CBS Sports and Tracy imagines the same kind of success for the NBA. Broadcast on local channels first, then on the national network, with a growing presence on social networks as well as on some of the broadcasting platforms that he and his team are already in touch with (Showtime for example). It’s all for one and the same goal: to raise the bar for two-person basketball, which for T-Mac is a system in itself on the fringes of traditional basketball and even street ball. Once his league is so well developed in the US, he wants to take it completely abroad because basketball is a “world sport” as the former Magic and Rockets star likes to remind us of. Like we said, Tracy is fearless and when he embarks on a project very close to his heart, he goes for it 200%! At the moment, McGrady maintains that he is the only real investor in the first season of OBL, but he clearly hopes to attract people with his concept and passion.

Tracy McGrady OFFICIAL: His project is going to be a hit, especially with the new generation of basketball players who are clearly a true primary target, but also some NBA fans who might want to see something other than explosions during the playoffs. What T-Mac has seen so far in its first OBL competitions — heading to Houston, Atlanta and Chicago at the NBA Draft Combine this weekend — is more encouraging than ever before in its initiative. Other events are already planned in the next few weeks in Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, and the Bay Area, proving that the project is gaining momentum. Obviously, the more powerful it is, the more it will attract attention as well as partners, which will make it possible to present cash prize Bigger and bigger for participants (currently $10,000 for each region winner, $250,000 for winner among the winners). all of thatThis is the vision of T-Mac, who seems to have really found the challenge he has been looking for in his career.

“Honestly, our first competition in Houston exceeded my expectations. I couldn’t be more proud of what I saw. From the Ones Basketball League model, infrastructure, production and level of competition, it was fantastic. I was like, ‘Wow, we did it.'”

After a stint as an NBA analyst for ESPN, Tracy McGrady is now immersed in developing her new singles league. A project that we will clearly be trying to pursue in the coming months and years, in the hope that it fulfills the great ambitions of T-Mac.

Text source: sports podcast

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