Tracy McGrady, the 15-year veteran who has played for just about everyone in the NBA, is headed overseas to China to play out his basketball career.
McGrady, who toiled for the Atlanta Hawks last season, will play in the Chinese Basketball Association for the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles. The announcement was made on McGrady’s website Tuesday, but did not state the terms of his contract one year contract. According to Chinese media reports the contract is worth at least $1 million.
The seven-time NBA All-Star adds another popular name to the pro league to go with former all-star Stephon Marbury, who led the Beijing Ducks to the championship in the 2011-12 season.
Playing with Chinese basketball star Yao Ming while with the Houston Rockets, has made McGrady well known throughout China. News of his signing has been buzzing on Chinese websites.
In McGrady’s goodbye note to the NBA, he said is enthusiastic about the next chapter in his life playing for the Eagles in China. He played for six NBA teams.
“As I enter the next chapter, I am excited to play for Qingdao Eagles in China,” he said. “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.”
Added McGrady, who went directly from high school to the NBA: “I consider myself a student of the game as I have watched, studied and played with and against the best players in the world. The NBA was my University and I learned so much. The gratitude I feel is really immeasurable. I have experienced the best moments a player can experience and have had some dark ones too. Both equally important in helping shape me into the man I am today.”
He then went on to thank various players, past and present for educating him.
“Doug Christy, Charles Oakley, Dee Brown, Mugsy Bogues, Antonio Davis, Dell Curry, Kevin Willis, you all showed a young kid from Auburndale, Florida how to be a better player, Kobe, you made me work harder and it was an honor to play against you,” he wrote. “And Yao, we shared an experience together that will always be with me, thank you.”
McGrady averaged five points per game last season with the Hawks. He was unable to obtain an NBA contract for this upcoming season and was even contemplating retirement, until he was approached by Qingdao management.