This is a very loud, quite shrill, and somewhat annoying video. It's also pretty cool, and heartwarming, and something you should see.
It's Tracy McGrady's welcome to China, as told by two thousand fans of the former NBA All-Star, as T-Mac walked through an airport after touching down in Qingdao on Wednesday. Watch:
Remarkable stuff, especially considering Tracy played for probably five times as many fans in Atlanta during actual game nights during the 2011-12 season.
As Dan Devine pointed out two weeks ago when Tracy put together a touching farewell letter to his stateside fans on his Facebook page, McGrady's time spent playing alongside Yao Ming with the Houston Rockets no doubt cemented his legacy in China as a hoop legend; but the burgeoning love affair between the crowds and the former Raptors, Magic, Rockets, Knicks, Pistons and Hawks forward takes its real roots in the country's deep passion for NBA basketball. It's true that other NBA types like Stephon Marbury and J.R. Smith weren't met with the same screaming throngs upon their touchdown in China, but Marbury probably receives near to the same treatment now that his Beijing Ducks are coming off a 2012 Chinese Basketball Association championship.
(J.R., who treated CBA practice like he would a lukewarm bowl of Bird's Nest Soup, is not as beloved.
His appearance drew hundreds of flashing cameras and loud shouts of his nickname, "T-Mac", from the fans.
"I started to admire him as early as 2001. When I heard he would play in China I told myself that no matter which city he played in, I would move there," said Xu Guobin, 30, a salesman who works in Qingdao, while holding a poster of McGrady newspaper reports.
"When I heard he was going to play in Qingdao I was overjoyed. There are so many fans here. I just saw his waving hand, but that was enough for me to be in tears now."
Moving to a new city just to watch Tracy McGrady play? That's devotion. Joakim Noah is my favorite player, and I can barely be bothered to follow him on Twitter. Although everyone should, because he is hilarious.
The CBA's 2012-13 season starts in late November. Have fun with the Qingdao Double Star Eagles, Tracy, you're playing for a squad with the coolest name in pro sports.
(Video courtesy our mates at Beijing Cream.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tracy McGrady
- Stephon Marbury
- Houston Rockets