In a moment so full of passion for the NBA that I can only assume it was stolen from a David Stern wet dream, Tracy McGrady recently landed in China, where he will play for the Qingdao Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association, as he is the next in the distinguished line of former NBA players to finish his career in the Far East. Despite a career hindered by injuries, T-mac has always been an NBA fan favorite for his “what could have been” highlight reel.
But don’t feel bad for the guy, he already has quite the following in his new country, and that was proven in the aforementioned video, which shows him being greeted at the airport by a mob of Chinese basketball fans, chanting, “T-Mac! T-Mac! T-Mac!” And you can tell that he’s in full-on “Bros, I just got off an airplane full of farts and baby screams” mode but they don’t care. They love them some T-Mac in China.
So where does this rank McGrady on the list of former NBA players to take his talents to the Commies? The Wall Street Journal suggests it’s at least better than Stephon Marbury’s crazy ass.
McGrady’s massive following in China means he’s well positioned to match or possibly even surpass the success of Stephon Marbury, another former NBA star who has resurrected his career in China. Marbury, who came to China in 2010 in part to promote his Starbury brand athletic gear, once managed to sell $30,000 worth of shoes at two-hour autograph signing.
And as Dwyane Wade has showed us, the Chinese LOVE basketball shoes. They also apparently love drinking beer while they play basketball, too, according to this video of two Chinese beer commercials starring McGrady and Shaquille O’Neal.