Stephon Marbury released from contract in China
Former NBA All-Star hopes to land with another Chinese team
Former two-time NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury told The Undefeated that he has been released from the final year of his contract with the Beijing Ducks after winning three championships in six seasons.
Marbury, 40, declined an opportunity to coach with Beijing. He still wants to play in the Chinese Basketball Association and expects interest from other teams. The eight-year CBA veteran was in the final year of a contract that was slated to pay him $2 million. The Coney Island, New York, native averaged 21.4 points, 5.5 assists and 4 rebounds in 34.6 minutes per game in 36 contests for Beijing. The Ducks have a statue in Marbury’s honor outside of their home arena.
“We agreed that I would leave this season and the door is always open to coach. They had the option for me to play or coach, and they wanted me to coach. It’s understandable at my age, but my age doesn’t dictate my game. This gives me strong desire to work hard and try my best to come back to help a team win a [championship],” Marbury told The Undefeated.
Marbury averaged 19.3 points and 7.6 assists during 13 NBA seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. He was estranged from the league for years after departing in 2009. In China, he has not only earned success on the court but he also has his own museum, has sold lots of his Starbury merchandise and has a movie based on his life slated to be in Chinese theaters in August.
The NBA had extended Marbury an olive branch when he visited with NBA commissioner Adam Silver in Beijing during the exhibition game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Houston Rockets last October. It was then that Silver invited Marbury to visit the NBA’s office in New York City when he returned to the United States. Marbury said he recently had a meeting with Silver and other league officials in New York that lasted around two hours. Marbury was invited to represent the Timberwolves as an ambassador when they play the Golden State Warriors in two exhibitions in China next season and also talked about other undisclosed business.
Marbury is expected to accept the offer to represent the Wolves in China, but the deal has not been finalized.
“We spoke about me working with the NBA in different projects, one of them being working as an ambassador for the Timberwolves when they come to China,” Marbury said.