Former NBA stars Tracy McGrady and Jermaine O’Neal are looking to become player representatives this year and will launch a sports agency in the fall.
The Hall of Fame inductee and six-time NBA All-Star spoke to Marc Stein of the New York Times, revealing plans for what they plan to call the Seven1 Sports Group and Entertainment. The numbers represent what the ex-athletes wore on their backs during their playing days.
McGrady and O’Neal are both 41 and live in Texas. They claim to be very financially secure but are keen on helping young players, particularly those of color, navigate sports contracts and make better decisions.
“We think it’s needed, and we have a passion for it,” McGrady, who skipped college to declare for the NBA Draft out of high school in 1997, explained. “We’re around kids every single day because we have youth programs. It just makes sense. We see the lack of information that these kids are getting, so we would be doing a disservice to our people if we don’t lend our expertise of what we know and help guide them. This is a calling that we have.”
“Make no mistake,” O’Neal added, “this is very personal.
“There’s no magic wand for this. We’re not trying to say we’re the magic wand. But we’re going to be different. You can’t name another pair of people who have had the level of success and the ups and downs that we’ve had in our careers.”
The former players shared the same agent back in 1998 as well as the same sneaker brand in terms of shoe deals. They admit there’s still a lot they don’t know, but are in the process of hiring “seasoned partners” and “old-school pit bulls” to make up for their lack of experience.