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McGrady now playing in China – receives rock star reception

November 5th, 2012
by John

If you hadn’t heard, Tracy McGrady has taken his talents to China since his career in the NBA is basically over. Specifically, McGrady signed with the Qingdao Double Star Eagles in the Chinese Basketball Association.

He received an incredible welcome at the Qingdao airport about 10 days ago (see photo below). You never know in China if ‘fans’ like this are paid by a sponsor (Adidas in this case) to create a good photo-op and publicity for their brand. But regardless, it’s amazing that an athlete way past his prime can get this kind of turnout and adulation in China.

October 24, 2012 - a crowd waits for Tracy McGrady to arrive at the Qingdao airport in China

October 24th, 2012 - Tracy McGrady is greeted by lots of fans at the Qingdao airport

October 24th, 2012 - Tracy McGrady is greeted by lots of fans at the Qingdao airport

October 24th, 2012 - Tracy McGrady is greeted by lots of fans at the Qingdao airport

Click here for more photos of the greeting McGrady received at the airport.

He was then picked up by a Rolls Royce and taken to a 5-star hotel (part of his contract demands), where he was welcomed by traditional Chinese lion dancers.

October 24th, 2012 - a Rolls Royce takes Tracy McGrady from the Qingdao airport to his hotel

October 24th, 2012 - Chinese dancers greet Tracy McGrady at his 5-star hotel in Qingdao, China

Click here for more photos of the welcome that McGrady received at the hotel.

The next day, the chairman of the Quingdao Double Star Group held a welcome reception for McGrady, and gave him new pairs of special shoes produced by their company, one of the biggest low-cost athletic shoe companies in China.

October 25th, 2012 - The shoes that are gifted to Tracy McGray from the company that owns his new team in Qingdao, China

October 25th, 2012 - Tracy McGrady shows off the new shoes gifted to him by the company that owns his new team

Click here for more photos of McGrady at the reception.

McGrady’s stay in the hotel didn’t last long, though, since he decided to move to another 5-star hotel, the Quingdao Haitian Hotel, which is closer to the new stadium (pictured below).

The Qingdao arena in China where Tracy McGrady plays with his new team

McGrady soon practiced with his teammates for the first time.

October 26th, 2012 - Tracy McGrady stretches before his first practice with his new team in Qingdao, China

October 26th, 2012 - Tracy McGrady practices with his new team in Qingdao, China

October 26th, 2012 - Tracy McGrady practices with his new team in Qingdao, China

Click here for more photos of McGrady working out, and at the practice.

Some reporters mentioned that McGrady was much slower than he used to be, had lost much of his lift in his jump shots, and even missed an uncontested dunk with no players around him.

McGrady’s services don’t come cheap to Qingdao, though. Here are some of the details of his contract:

– In addition to the team paying for his 5-star hotel as his residence, he will be paid between US $800,000 to $1 million for one year, and the team will have an option to sign him after the first year.

– If the team makes the playoffs, he can’t leave. He has to continue playing.

– To prevent J.R. Smith-like incidents from happening, he will be penalized $10k for skipping a practice and $50k for skipping a game without legitimate reasons

– On road trips, he has to stay in the same hotel with his teammates that the team has arranged for them.

– He will receive an allowance for a couple of round-trip tickets to the U.S. to see his family, or his family wants to visit him in China on certain Chinese holidays.

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