Stephon Marbury is having a sensational time in China. Unable to find a job in the NBA, the former star guard took his talents to the Chinese Basketball Association in 2010 and hasn't looked back.
Marbury hopes to end his career in China and told the Wall Street Journal he hopes to one day coach the country's national basketball team. The former Knicks guard intends to start hawking his cheap Starbury basketball sneakers on Chinese TV soon. "I wanted to build my brand, I wanted to do something that was different, I knew it would take time here in order to do the things that I felt were needed to help my brand continue to grow," Marbury told the Journal.
Despite being born and raised in the United States, Marbury seemed to praise the communist ways of China. "Some people speak about it being a Communist country, and I’m like well, in America [there’s] democracy, but there are just rules before they tell you you can’t do something. Here in China they just tell you right away, 'No you can’t do that.'"
The two-time NBA All-Star seems in awe of the tradition he's seeing in his new home.
"The history of this country (China) is so amazing," Marbury told the Journal. "To see how its evolved into becoming the most dominate country on the planet. You can actually see why now. Living here you have an understanding why China is the leader."
Marbury, also known as Bu Li, lives in a small apartment in the center of Beijing while playing for the Beijing Jinyu Ducks. He says he came to the Far East to reinvent himself. "People called me crazy for coming to China, when I first came here. I don't hear that anymore."
Marbury, 34, earned an astonishing $151 million while playing for the Timberwolves, Nets, Suns, Knicks and Celtics during his 13 seasons in the NBA.
Former Knicks and Nuggets stars Wilson Chandler and Kenyon Martin have joined Marbury in China this season, compliments of the recently ended lockout.
The Brooklyn-born basketball prodigy has one complaint, though. Marbury says his buddies just don't understand the difference between Chinese food from China and the Chinese food Americans eat back home. You think that’s Chinese from the corner store, but that’s not Chinese food,” he said. “I’m telling you because I live there.”