Stephon Marbury left the NBA a frustrating embodiment of talent wasted following his 13-year career.
He wound up in China, where he blossomed into an unlikely championship leader of his Beijing Ducks. The Chinese fans thanked the point guard with the bronze statue capturing the moment he hoisted the CBA championship trophy (via Yahoo! Sports).
If Starbury could capture the hearts of the Chinese fanbase, then surely Tracy McGrady (former All-Star running mate of Yao Ming) was in line to lift his legendary status when he followed Marbury's lead.
His inaugural season, though, hasn't brought about quite the same successes.
His CBA team, Qingdao, has posted a league-worst 2-17 record.
And its season hit a new low-point during a disheartening loss against Bayi, in which the officials missed a blatant shot-clock violation that resulted in an extra possession and a three-point bucket for Bayi.
Qingdao's "team leader" Jiang Shiwei reportedly flipped over the scoring table and kicked a placard. The team pulled its players from the floor with 28 seconds still on the clock (according to Anthony Tao of beijingcream.com).
McGrady saved his disgust for Chinese social media site Sina Weibo.
His first post read "CBA has to do a better job with these officials. My team plays hard every night and the 3 blind mice take it away from us!"
He followed that up by saying "This bad officiating has to change. No way I'm coming back if the officiating continues to be this errant."
The league responded with levying a one-game suspension on McGrady—and 10 games for the officiating crew that caused the uproar.
This isn't a surprising development for anyone who's kept tabs on the former superstar.
His CBA debut lasted all of 98 seconds, infuriating a packed house that had come out to watch him play. As fans realized that his run would last all of 1.5 minutes, they began hurling objects on to the floor and the game was called (via USAToday.com).
During the regular season, his club was down 19 points when opponent Zhe connected on a three-pointer over the outstretched arms of McGrady.
Zhe celebrated on his way down the floor, opting for Dikembe Mutombo's trademark finger wag.
McGrady responded with an elbow that sent Zhe sprawling to the floor.
While Marbury's miraculous transformation highlighted the obvious benefits of extending one's basketball career, McGrady appears the latest example of just how much life has changed for some of the game's biggest stars.
The seven-time All-Star and 2003-04 scoring champion wasn't meant to go out like this.
But every career has to come to an end, even if some players aren't ready to let them go.