McGrady’s China Move
Two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady (特雷西·麦克格雷迪) has just begun his extended career in China, arriving in Qingdao to join the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles team (青岛双星雄鹰队) on October 24.
McGrady, the seven-time All-Star player spent six years from 2004-2010 playing alongside Yao Ming for the Houston Rockets, which has made him popular in China. He was welcomed by over 1,000 fans at the airport when arriving in Qingdao, and leaped into training immediately after a health examination.
McGrady is reportedly the highest-paid player in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and his coach has already targeted the playoffs (季后赛). He vowed (发誓) to help the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles win the CBA championship. “All I can do is try hard day in, day out and provide great leadership to my teammates to achieve the goal,” McGrady said at the welcoming ceremony. The DoubleStar Eagles was ranked ninth in the 17-team CBA last season.
The CBA, with its increased competitiveness, has attracted several former NBA players to join in recent seasons, with former New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury (史蒂芬·马布里) its greatest success story. The 35-year-old player led the Beijing Ducks (北京金隅) to the CBA title earlier this year.
“It’s good for Tracy,” McGrady’s former Houston team mate Shane Battier (肖恩·巴蒂尔) said. “Maybe he just wants something new and different, which a lot of guys do after playing in the NBA for so long. China’s definitely a good choice.”
But it remains unknown what the 33-year-old player will be capable of doing. “The CBA isn’t as easy as people think,” warned Marbury. Its talent level has gotten higher, he said, noting that NBA All-Stars Steve Francis (史蒂夫·弗朗西斯) and Kenyon Martin (肯扬·马丁) had also played in China, while former MVP Allen Iverson (艾伦·艾佛森) is seemingly considering the idea.
Is it easy for former NBA players to play in CBA?