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McGrady Confirms Magic Act

Free agent Tracy McGrady, who was courted by three NBA teams in the past week, announced Friday he is choosing the Orlando Magic because he wants to play close to home.

"Not too many superstars get a chance to play at home, and I just saw myself taking advantage of it," McGrady said at a news conference at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex, where he works out.

The native of Auburndale, Fla., about 40 miles southwest of Orlando, will likely sign a six-year deal worth $67.5 million. NBA rules prohibit him from signing until Aug. 1.

McGrady averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds last season with the Toronto Raptors.

He said free agent forward Grant Hill's commitment to the Magic earlier this month was a crucial factor in his decision.

"I think we're capable of turning this organization around in the right way," said McGrady, 21. "I like their style of play and I think my talent, to the team, just helps it out a lot."

McGrady also said he likes the style of Orlando coach Doc Rivers, the NBA's coach of the year last season.

"I think Doc is a player's coach," he said. "For a young guy as myself, you need guys like that who really care about you."

For a while, Magic officials were uncertain if McGrady would commit to them.

Last week, McGrady said he was coming to Orlando. He then expressed interest in the Chicago Bulls after a weekend visit to the Windy City. By Tuesday, he was listening to a pitch from Miami's Alonzo Mourning relating to a proposed sign-and-trade deal.

But McGrady said there was never any question that he would come to Orlando even though he looked at other teams. He said he has dreamed of playing for the Magic since he was a kid watching Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway. McGrady plans to wear the same jersey number as Hardaway, No. 1.

"A lot of people were pushing for Chicago, but I thought Orlando was the place for me," he said. "Orlando was always my first option."

McGrady said he's just happy the free agent process is over.

"Everybody was calling me, asking what's going on. I'd wake up and read the newspapers that say 'Heat, not Magic.' I'm like, where is all of this stuff coming from?" he said.

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