Tracy McGrady to take his talents to China’s CBA
It looks like it’s official: Tracy McGrady is finished with the NBA and headed to play in China.
Hoopsvibe’s quick call: Hoopsvibe wishes T-Mac much success with his new transition.
The Wall Street Journal: China and Yahoo! Sports reported, that the seven-time NBA All-Star has reached an agreement to play in China with the CBA’s Qingdao Eagles. McGrady is the first high-caliber NBA star to leave for the CBA since 2010 when Knicks point guard, Stephon Marbury, left the U.S. to play for the Beijing Ducks.
McGrady is rumored to have signed a one-year contract worth up to $1 million. Those reports have neither been confirmed or denied.
T-Mac then took to his Facebook page Wednesday to confirm the reports and posted a personal message to his followers in regards to his new endeavor.
“There are times in life that a new road presents itself and it appears this time has come for me now,” McGrady wrote. “As I enter this next chapter, I am excited to play for Qingdao Eagles in China. I have been to China several times in the last few years and I love the people and the country. It will be an honor to play for them,” he continued.
The Eagles have never made it to the CBA Finals and they are hoping a player like McGrady is the answer.
“What we value about him is his experience and technique. We hope he can help the team move up to a leading spot in the CBA, the way Marbury did [in Beijing],” Eagles GM Sheng Xishun commented Wednesday.
The WSJ also reported that in the 2009-10 NBA season, McGrady was the NBA’s highest paid player, raking in about $22.5 million. Who knew? Last year was quite different, however; as McGrady made the NBA’s veteran minimum of $1.3 million.
T-Mac is no stranger to the Chinese. He has done multiple tours in the country and is close with Chinese giant Yao Ming, who McGrady played with as a member of the Houston Rockets from 2004-2010. In that time span, the Rockets made the playoffs five times. The WSJ reported that in the 2008-09 season with the Rockets, McGrady had the #4 top-selling uniform in China.
The 33-year old McGrady played 16 seasons in the NBA, entering the league straight out of high school. He was drafted 9th overall in ’97 by the Toronto Raptors.
His NBA career is Hall of Fame worthy; for most of the 2000’s, McGrady was one of the league’s most prolific scorers. He’s been the NBA Scoring Champion twice; once in 2003 (32.1 ppg) and the very next year in 2004 (28.0 ppg), is a seven-time member of the All-NBA team, and holds numerous scoring records with the Orlando Magic, including most points in one game in franchise history with 62 and most points in a playoff game with 46.
For the past three seasons, T-Mac has been plagued with knee injuries and has been with three different NBA teams; the Knicks, the Pistons and the Hawks.
Hoopsvibe wishes him great health, happiness, and success overseas. Take those Eagles to the Finals, T-Mac!
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Image source: WENN Images