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The Chinese spotlight that once shone upon a local giant is now pointing into the direction of a seven time NBA All-Star.
Thirty-three year old Tracy McGrady has signed a one-year contract worth in the range of $1 million with the Qingdao Doublestar Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) according to multiple Chinese media sources.
McGrady, who has struggled to find a steady home in the NBA, says on his personal website, “There are times in life that a new road presents itself and it appears this time has come for me now.”
The CBA has recently landed many NBA related headlines. D.J. White, who spent the last five seasons in the NBA, has signed a contract with Yao Ming’s Shanghai Sharks and Yi Jilian, who spent five years in the NBA, has signed with the Guangdong Southern Tigers.
The NBA is taking full advantage of its growing fan support in China. The 2012 NBA Champions Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers are playing two pre season games in China (one game in Beijing and one game in Shanghai).
Chinese sports companies are also taking full advantage of the rise in popularity. Two time NBA Champion Dwayne Wade inked a shoe deal with Chinese shoe company Li-Ning. Wade’s teammate, Shane Battier, is signed to rival Chinese company Peak.
McGrady will instantly revive a rivalry with former NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury. Marbury has been playing in the CBA since 2010. Last year, he led the Beijing Ducks to a CBA Championship averaging an impressive 24 points per game.
McGrady’s Qingdao Doublestar finished last season with a 16-16 record.