Although many NBA stars have joined the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) in recent years, seven-time all-star Tracy McGrady's announcement to play for the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles in the CBA is still the top news on China's major sports media outlets.
McGrady experienced many glorious moments during his 15-year NBA career, and played with Chinese basketball star Yao Ming during their days with the Houston Rockets, so he is well known among Chinese basketball fans. McGrady is just the latest in a series of NBA veterans to join the CBA.
However, not all people welcome McGrady's joining of Qingdao team. After all, many CBA clubs compete for the NBA stars, only buying those earning high salary, so they will not always gain profits. To Qingdao team, McGrady has passed the peak period and the unknown factors such as his injuries and personality will also affect his form. In addition, McGrady was not willing to accept a trial before joining the team so people can only inquire about his current form indirectly. Therefore, it is undeniable that the purchase of McGrady is somewhat adventurous.
Since it is an "adventure," we only wait and see the form of McGrady during the contests to weigh whether the purchase is cost-effective. Anyhow, McGrady will bring unprecedented attention and high popularity to Qingdao team, which has a stadium accommodating 4,000 viewers but had never reached any CBA playoffs, as it is the first experience of the excitement to Qingdao team.
Actually, the join of NBA stars in CBA can be seen as a stage in the development of league basketball matches. In the past, the second-rate players and "has been" stars often consider joining the UEFA Europa League, but now many of them will first choose CBA clubs. It is the direct result of CBA clubs' increasing the investment, which showed immediate effect.
Although McGrady will bring new attractions to Qingdao team, the development of a CBA club eventually depends on its own growth. To CBA, McGrady is both a superstar and a passer-by. It is still not a virtuous circle to CBA if Chinese fans only "consume" the popularity of McGrady, rather than his competitive level. The stage of development is necessary but will not stop here.
Read the Chinese version: “大腕”毕竟只是过客
Source:People's Daily, author: Xue Yuan.