Tracy McGrady has signed a one-year contract to play in the Chinese Basketball Association for the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles. McGrady’s last season in the NBA was spent with the Atlanta Hawks, but he was not resigned during the offseason, and sources say that the 7-time NBA All-Star was considering retirement before the offer to play in the CBA was extended.
McGrady released an official announcement of his plans to play overseas, much of which read like a farewell letter to the NBA, its fans, and its commentators. ”Thank you to every fan that has followed me and believed in me. Injuries and all, I wouldn’t have changed a thing,” he wrote. “I am proud of the mark I left on this game and am grateful to have been a part this league. It was a dream to play in front of all of you, each night, in every stadium. Thank you.”
McGrady is not the first high-profile player to sign a contract with a CBA team. Stephon Marbury played for the Beijing Ducks during the 2011/2012 season, leading them to a league championship.
“I consider myself a student of the game as I have watched, studied and played with and against the best players in the world,” McGrady wrote. “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.”