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Tracy McGrady Not Ruling out a Return to China

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 13:  Tracy McGrady #1 of the San Antonio Spurs warms-up before taking on the Miami Heat in Game Four of the 2013 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 13, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 30, 2013

The San Antonio Spurs might have helped Tracy McGrady clear his first-round playoff hurdle last season, but the Alamo City couldn't quench the former All-Star's thirst for meaningful minutes.

For that, McGrady might be heading back to his last prominent place on the hardwood—China.

According to China.org.cn, McGrady hasn't ruled out a return to the Chinese Basketball Association for next season.

"For those who have played years in NBA and still want to prolong their career like me, CBA is a great alternative," he told the Chinese web site.

McGrady's first taste of CBA action had its fair share of ups and downs.

The two-time NBA scoring champ put up superstar numbers in China (25 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game) but threatened to leave the league if it didn't improve what he considered horrendous officiating. He also called the league's mandatory test of its rules and regulations "nonsense," (via Yahoo! Sports' Kelly Dwyer).

Last season looked like it would be the first NBA campaign without McGrady since he made his debut in 1997-98 for the Toronto Raptors until he signed a contract with the Spurs on April 16 for the rest of the season. He failed to record a regular-season appearance for San Antonio, then played a total of 31 scoreless minutes in six playoff games for the Western Conference champions.

Knee and back injuries derailed McGrady's once-brilliant NBA career, and he's since handled spot duty for five different teams since the 2009-10 season. He averaged 21.6 points per game for the Houston Rockets in 2007-08 but has failed to hit double digits in any of the last four seasons.

Still, he's a superstar in China, a hoops-crazed country with no shortage of marketing options. Should he choose to continue his basketball career, he should have a place in the CBA for as long as he wants one.

As McGrady told the web site, though, that's a decision that has not been made just yet.

"I am happy to be home with my wife and kids," he said. "But if possible, I may come back to CBA. I haven't really thought about that."

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