Qingdao had its final preseason tune-up on Tuesday away from its home court in Binzhou, Shandong province in a contest that probably wouldn’t have filled half the arena if Tracy McGrady weren’t in the house.
McGrady scored five points in 2 minutes against a team of foreigners — 98 seconds, to be exact — then took a seat on the bench. He sat for the next 46 minutes, until the final buzzer. As Jon Pastuszek of NiuBBall — a site that, even in preseason, never takes a seat — reports:
Anticipation turned into disappointment, disappointment turned into anger… and then, upset that they wasted their money on a ticket to merely see Shang Ping play, fans inside the stadium did what Chinese fans usually do when they’re mad. They chucked stuff onto the court.
You can watch in the above video and the one after the jump. McGrady, under prompting from team officials, returned to the court to address the crowd (sound quality is subpar, so transcription may not be completely accurate):
First of all, thank you all for coming out here tonight supporting both of these teams. Sorry I wasn’t able to play tonight… certain circumstances and conditions…
I want to say again thank you guys for your support, your love, your appreciation for what I’ve done in the game of basketball. Over the past 15 years you guys have stuck by me through the good and the bad.
While it’s safe to assume most spectators had no idea what he said, it’s the definitely the thought that counts. He could have read them Dr. Seuss and still gotten cheers. Pastuszek notes that T-Mac then threw souvenirs into the crowd.
Stephon Marbury. Gilbert Arenas. Tracy McGrady. They’re all in China! The season can’t start soon enough — it will this Saturday when Shanghai visits Beijing.