Stephon Marbury to play in China for 3 more years, until he’s 40


marbury-ducksFormer NBA All-Star, Stephon Marbury has reportedly signed a three-year deal with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, ensuring that Marbury will play in China until he’s nearly 40, NY Daily News reported.

Marbury, who has played in the Chinese Basketball Association since 2010, is so popular in China that after leading the Beijing Ducks to a championship a statue was erected outside the team’s stadium.

He’s so beloved in the capital city that after he led Beijing to the team’s first championship two years ago, the team erected a statue of him that sits outside the team’s stadium, a monument to second-chances if ever there was one.

Marbury’s cousin, Sebastian Telfair, has also reportedly signed to play in the CBA this season for Tianjin with an eye toward returning to the NBA early next year.

Marbury spent five mostly erratic and controversial seasons with the Knicks after he was traded midway through the 2003-04 season. He quarreled with teammates and team brass, failed to get along with coach Larry Brown and later feuded with coach/GM Isiah Thomas.

Reports surfaced that he and Thomas even came to blows. Marbury finally agreed to a buyout during the 2008-09 season, ending his turbulent time with the Knicks and ushering in a second, better-received act in China.

Marbury was a 2-time All-Star in the NBA, averaging 19.3 ppg, 7.6 apg in 846 career NBA games (816 started).

While other big-ticket NBA imports such as Steve Francis, Tracy McGrady and even J.R. Smith achieved only moderate success in China, Marbury, a former lottery pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, has somehow emerged a national hero.

While he may have struggled to connect with fans in the U.S., Marbury seems to have remade himself in China. Marbury is often held up as a model for success for former NBA players in East Asia and has been credited with bolstering the profile of the CBA.

“When Yao Ming retired from basketball, the worry was that the sport’s popularity would wane,” wrote Mark Dreyer in the Chinese tabloid, “Global Times,” as mentioned by NBA.com. “With Yi Jianlian unable to carry the torch overseas, the focus turned to the CBA and while it’s no substitute for the NBA in terms of quality, the Chinese league has definitely improved over the past few years. Marbury should get as much credit as anyone for that improvement.”

According to reports, Marbury has been a model citizen for the league, a warm and fuzzy accessible employee who rides the subway to practice, makes appointments to visit kids in hospital wards and runs clinics for aspiring players.

He’s even become a mentor of sorts to American players who make the pilgrimage to East Asia, doing for them what he seemed to not do with Keith Van Horn and other ex-NBA teammates.

Marbury has even found his inner-journalist, penning a column for the China Daily. He served as an assistant coach for the Beijing team during the recent National Games in China.

starburyDONATING THE SHOES

China is probably not the only country, where people like Marbury. It should be noted that in early October, Marbury made good on his promise, donating thousands of pairs of shoes for underprivileged children in the Philippines.

He led the distribution of his Starbury line of shoes to different parts of Metro Manila along side Air 21 Express stalwarts Asi Taulava and Ren-Ren Ritualo.

Marbury went to Juan Sumulong High School in Quezon City in coordination with Air 21 coach Franz Pumaren, who is also a city councilor, and mayor Herbert Bautista. They proceeded to Boystown in Marikina to deliver shoes as part of the Alagang PBA outreach program by the league.

EXNBA ON FACEBOOK:


Stay updated on latest stories!

Subscribe, and receive free updates directly in your Inbox. Enter your email address:


comments powered by Disqus

Comments are closed.