BEIJING: Authorities in China halted a basketball match involving former NBA superstar Tracy McGrady after fans began tossing objects onto the court, angry at his limited time in the game, a report said Wednesday.
The seven-time NBA All Star created a sensation when he signed with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Qingdao Eagles last month, selling out each of the club’s three pre-season exhibition matches against a team of American players.
But Tuesday’s third game was halted late in the fourth quarter after fans began hurling water bottles and other objects and calling for McGrady — who was sitting on the bench — to play, webportal Sina.com said.
McGrady, 33, had only played the first minute and 38 seconds of the match, scoring five points and helping Qingdao to a 13-0 lead, which they never gave up.
In a video of the game also posted on Sina.com, most of the 5,000 fans in the arena are seen shouting in unison for McGrady to play.
Photos showed objects raining down on the court as security personnel escorted McGrady into the locker room.
McGrady only played limited minutes in his first match in China last week, but on Sunday in his second exhibition appearance he scored 34 points and had nine rebounds in 28 minutes of playing time.
The performance was widely reported throughout China, further fueling expectations for the 15-year NBA veteran, who in 2003 and 2004 led the league in scoring.
The CBA regular season begins this weekend, with 17 teams set to play 32 games each, before an eight-team championship playoff.