After practice Friday afternoon, Tracy McGrady huddled with Aaron Gordon for several minutes and demonstrated to Gordon some of the intricacies of speeding past a defender. Holding a basketball, McGrady took a few jab-steps as Gordon listened intently.
The Magic can expect similar tutorials between the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and their young players from now on.
McGrady formally rejoined the Magic as a special assistant to the CEO on Thursday, and he expects to be in Orlando about once a month and try to link up with the team when it makes its two West Coast road trips.
To hear McGrady tell it, a reunion with the Magic just feels natural.
"It's home," McGrady told reporters Friday.
"This is right. This is the place that gave me a opportunity to make a name for myself. I still have great ties with the organization. They take care of me every time I come home. It just feels right for me to be back home, and I'm excited for the opportunity to be around these guys."
McGrady grew up in nearby Polk County and played for the Magic from 2000-01 through 2003-04, winning two NBA scoring titles during his tenure.
The exact outline of his new role remains unclear.
He'll help the franchise promote and market its new G League team in Lakeland, and he'll also be available to meet with the Orlando Magic's players and coaches when he's in town.
McGrady also will continue to work as a basketball analyst for ESPN, and that job helps explain why he'll be in Central Florida just once a month.
Asked specifically if he could help the Magic recruit free agents, McGrady confirmed that a role as a recruiter could occur eventually.
"Once we cross that bridge, yeah, sure," McGrady answered. "Orlando is a great place to play, a first-class organization, one of the best that I've been affiliated with. So, yes. But, obviously, guys that are under contract now – there will be no contact with me whatsoever. I know how that goes. But once guys become free agents in the summertime? Absolutely."
On Friday, he seemed to enjoy being around the Magic's current players.
And vice versa.
"It's definitely good to have somebody like that around, somebody that can give our players knowledge," point guard Elfrid Payton said. "Obviously, he didn't play point guard, but it's good to have him talking to Evan 1/8Fournier3/8, talking to T-Ross 1/8Terrence Ross3/8, talking to A.G. 1/8Aaron Gordon3/8. Anything to help those guys is going to help us be better, and I'm all for that."
McGrady said he already has started to speak with Gordon off the floor.
"I know his potential," McGrady said. "He's extremely athletic. He has all the athleticism in the world. Now we've just got to work on the mental aspect of the game. How do we take what our physical ability is and turn that into the same mental capacity in games? That's what has to translate. He has to believe in himself of what he's capable of doing, and let's see if he could do that. I think he has all the tools to be able to 1/8do that3/8 ...
"It's a growing process. It's a transition that he's transitioning into, and for me to be around here having gone through that, I could help him out in so many ways."