Two weeks ago, NIUBball.com revealed an interview with former Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles swingman Tracy McGrady, one in which T-Mac revealed that he didn’t think any current member of the Chinese Basketball Association could play in the NBA. During that chat, McGrady couldn’t even remember the name (much less game) of Wang Zhelin, a big man suspected of having NBA potential.
That doesn’t mean Tracy doesn’t think Americans can play in the CBA, as evidenced by his 32-game turn with the last place DoubleStar Eagles, and his recent work as an inadvertent agent of sorts for 19-year old curio Aquille Carr. The 5-6 Carr announced earlier this year that he was going to skip college to play overseas prior to a hoped-for trip to the NBA, and it was McGrady that helped ease his logistical move to China.
Aquille Carr’s professional career in China has begun. After posting 15 points and 8 assists in Chengdu followed by 9 points and 7 assists in Shenzhen against the Bayi Rockets during the USA Legends Tour, Carr was offered a contract in China for next season.
“How does it feel to have your first CBA contract offer?” Qingdao Double Star owner Max Shicanbin asked Carr.
Shocked, Carr said that he would have to talk with his agent. But Tracy McGrady stepped in and volunteered to assume the role, playing both sides of the fence with the owner of the club he played for until he joined the Spurs.
“We want stability,” McGrady said in his new role of player representative. “We also want a guaranteed contract and position on the team.”
Even in the modern age, with changes to the format being frowned upon and all manner of signed-on basketball orthodoxy holding sway, this is all so wonderfully weird.
First, as Trey groked our way, T-Mac is currently on an old-timers tour in China with Jason Williams, Gary Payton, and Bonzi Wells. This tour started up just three days after McGrady’s Spurs lost in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals. This comes on the heels of a strange basketball run of late for McGrady, who went from working as a nondescript member of the Atlanta Hawks, to unemployment, to his turn with the CBA, to signing with the Spurs and acting as a LeBron James practice dummy of sorts in Finals walkthroughs – mainly because McGrady, though limited in his old playing age, is no dummy when it comes to all-around basketball.
Secondly, he’s doing his unofficial agent work for a 5-6 waterbug of a guard who decided to skip going to Seton Hall and make actual money as compensation for his work. It’s also weird that Carr had to go away from America and toward Socialist China to make that happen.
If you’re unfamiliar with Aquille’s work, check out one of his YouTube mixes, via TBJ:
All we can ask for now is a YouTube mix of the various hits Wang Zhelin is going to send Aquille Carr’s way, when the DoubleStar Eagles pair up with Fujian SBG Sturgeons. Big names in that one.