Stephon Marbury: The Ageless Wonder
For years fans have heard about basketball players taking their talents overseas to either start their careers or revitalize them. Plenty of athletes have either taken the alternative route to NBA stardom or ended their careers playing in Europe or Asia. Normally these players are not your typical stars -- players like MarShon Brooks, Terrence Jones, Dee Brown, Josh Smith, Jordan Crawford, Andray Blatche, and Jimmer Fredette to name a few.
Then there is Stephon Marbury.
He is a part of a group that excelled in both the NBA and a foreign league. Now Stephon is looking to make a comeback to the league he once called home.
As recently announced on Marbury’s Instagram, the face of the Chinese Basketball League, is looking to make a comeback to the NBA. Marbury is currently playing for the Beijing Fly Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association on a one-year contract. He has been playing in China since 2010, during his time there, Marbury has been an absolute superstar and the face of the league.
According to basketball.realgm.com, he has averaged 22.7 points and five assists since moving to China. That is impressive for a player that averaged 3.8 points per game with the Boston Celtics in his final year in the NBA. Granted, the competition in China is not as strong as the competition in America.
Marbury could just be the product of an intelligent basketball player in a weaker league, but at the end of the day, whether the numbers are skewed or not Marbury can still ball. So what is Marbury’s chance of a comeback? Well, Steph is under contract for the remainder of the CBA season. Players in the past have finished out their Chinese seasons and caught on with NBA clubs to make a playoff run.
Marbury was once widely regarded as one of the NBA’s best point guards. He was a lottery pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, selected by the Milwaukee Bucks and immediately traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Ray Allen and a future first round pick.
From there, Marbury made the NBA All-Rookie team in 2017 and was a two-time All-Star in 2001 and 2003. Marbury also has a Bronze Medal as a member of the 2004 Olympic basketball team. Even with all the recognition, Marbury never had a chance to win an NBA championship. It is tough to walk away from a game that treated the man so well, without winning it all.
Marbury does have three CBA Championships in China, winning the CBA Finals MVP in 2015. That championship pedigree could just be what a team needs heading into the playoffs in 2018.
Teams like the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and Toronto Raptors will sure be at the top of Marbury’s list when he does become available. There is no mistaking Marbury for his prime, but he has the opportunity to be a back of the bench guy for any of the top teams in the league.
Starbury surely does not expect to be the focal point of any contending basketball team during his comeback. He just wants to end his career in the greatest league in the world, hopefully as an NBA Champion.
This story has a fairytale ending written all over it. Marbury went from a star in college to an NBA player that was never on a team good enough to win a championship. Then he turned into a businessman that helped at the impoverished youth of America reach for the stars by giving them an affordable option for basketball sneakers. Marbury has donated a lot of money to charities in times of need for his communities whether it is in America or China.
It is tough not to root for this man to get another shot in the NBA. Sure there were times when Marbury was not the most popular. Most of those times happened to be with the New York Knicks, the team he grew up rooting for. Unfortunately, that could just be a New York Knicks problem and not a Marbury problem. At the end of the day Marbury’s heart is in the right place. He wants to make a comeback to the NBA and should get a shot with a team at some point.