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” (麦蒂正式签约青岛双星篮球俱乐部通报会), 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.
McGrady is expected to land in Qingdao on October 24th.
Here’s more Mai Di-to-Qingdao goodies:
- Can’t wait to see McGrady in a Qingdao uniform? Well, thanks to the modern miracles of photo manipulation, you don’t have to! Tothe right side of your screen, behold… Tracy McGrady in a Qingdao uniform!
- “And how exactly do I pronounce ‘Qingdao?’” you ask. Ching… Dow… Ching Dao. And it’s not only a city in Shandong, China… it’s also the name of NiuBBall’s (and almost everybody else’s, including the NBA’s) go-to Chinese beer. Hopefully the city won’t mind that their new star has already endorsed another beer brand…
- From proclaiming him as “God” to calling him “the biggest star to ever play in the CBA,” here are the newspaper headlines trumpeting T-Mac’s big move to China’s east coast.
- 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 Li Gen, who scored the most total points in the CBA in 2011-12.
- So who’s the other foreign player who will be playing alongside our new guy? According to Chinese media, its down to Marcus Douthit (who played last season with Foshan) and Jerome Jordan.
- With demand for tickets sky rocketing, the Eagles have announced they will be moving their home arena from the quaint 4,000 seat capacity Qingdao University Stadium to the larger GuoXin Stadium, which has room for up to 12,500 people.
- And because you’re bound to see this a bunch of times on CCTV-5 this season (and also because it’s still freaking amazing), here’s T-Mac scoring 13 points in 35 seconds. Here’s hoping for similar performances in the CBA.