Qingdao Rumors

NBA star Tracy McGrady has stopped a game in China – after fans of his new Chinese club began throwing things on court, angry he wasn’t playing. Authorities in China halted a basketball match involving former NBA superstar Tracy McGrady after fans began tossing objects onto the court, angry at his limited time in the game, a report said Wednesday. The seven-time NBA All Star created a sensation when he signed with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Qingdao Eagles last month, selling out each of the club’s three pre- season exhibition matches against a team of American players.
According to Qingdao’s general manager, Sheng Xishun, the Eagles’ goal with McGrady is to win a championship. But with the idea that his new signing will stick around for three years to rival Beijing’s Stephon Marbury as the CBA’s most popular foreign player, the goal for this year is to just make the playoffs. Good call when you consider the team saw a whopping seven players leave the team in the off-season, including the top Chinese scorer in the entire league in 2011-12, Li Gen.
If there was any doubt remaining over Tracy McGrady’s widely reported, widely confirmed and officially-announced-by-T-Mac-himself-on-Facebook news that the five-time NBA All-Star will be playing for the Qingdao Double Star Eagles this season… you can now safely remove all of it and throw in the nearest garbage can. Or you can just throw it on the street, which remains as the preferred method for garbage disposal for many in this country. We won’t judge, promise. Over the weekend, Qingdao held a special press conference to officially announce that McGrady will be playing for the Eagles this season. Called “Briefing for Tracy McGrady Officially Signing with Qingdao Double Star Eagles”, a representative from the team formally declared that the deal was done and to prove it, held up a copy of the written agreement, complete with McGrady’s signature.
Sheng also revealed the signing was inspired by what Stephon Marbury and his Beijing Ducks accomplished last season, as the 35-year-old veteran led the Ducks to their first league title in two decades. “We will try best to help McGrady adjust to life in the Chinese Basketball Association and extend his career as a player. We hope he can continue to play for Qingdao next year and make the team a championship contender.”
Sheng Xishun, manager of the club, confirmed the news to multiple media outlets on Tuesday morning, and revealed that McGrady will agree to the signing by Wednesday. “Qingdao chooses McGrady for two reasons. One is that we hope he can help improve the team. The other is to take advantage of his influence to promote the team and the whole group,” said Sheng in a Tencent Sports interview.
McGrady, a seven-time All-Star, couldn’t secure a guaranteed NBA contract for this season and decided against trying to make a roster in training camp. McGrady, 33, will likely complete the deal within the next couple days and leave for China within the next one to two weeks, sources said. McGrady’s long-time partnership with former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming made McGrady a popular player in China, and he’ll be afforded star status there.
However, both parties have but expressed their interest at this point. McGrady has requested for time to consider all factors before deciding. He has also stated that his asking price would not be overly high. Should he decide to play in China, it would be another new challenge in his professional career. At the moment, Qingdao manager Sheng Xishun has publicly stated that “for a player like McGrady, so long as the price is reasonable, the Doublestar would definitely take serious consideration into the option.”
Another factor which has left Qingdao slightly worried, is McGrady’s history of injury. A club spokesman has been quoted as saying: “The NBA has always had advanced post-game treatment procedures. With the exception of several top clubs, China’s recovery techniques are best described as primitive. For a player like McGrady who has had severe injuries in the past, post-game recovery would be a bit of an issue.” But the club has of course prepared for this; should McGrady join Qingdao, they would prepare a therapist, or even pay to hire an American therapist, in order to guarantee McGrady’s post-game recovery.
This manager also mentioned the main disagreement between both parties being whether McGrady would adjust to the level of competition in the CBA, and whether McGrady would have enough time to recover from injury. “Most questions have been resolved at this point, but with McGrady’s body, adjustment to the CBA is still unknown. On an NBA road trip, having a chartered flight allows the athlete enough rest, while the CBA calls for the athlete to rush for a flight, which makes getting rest a harder task. To require an NBA big name to get used to this environment seems almost impossible.”