Stephon Marbury hasn’t played an NBA game since the end of the 2009 NBA season — the season Derrick Rose was Rookie of the Year.
Starting in 2010, he went to China and went on to become a pioneer for other American hoopsters heading to that country — and he became a legend in Beijing. He led the Beijing Ducks to two Chinese Basketball Association titles and had such an impact he has a statue in his honor and a musical about him and his impact on Chinese culture.
Now, at age 40 and with his career in China winding down, he wants one more shot in the NBA, and he posted about it on Instagram.
Marbury is committed to play for the Beijing Fly Dragons during the upcoming Chinese season, but that will end if February or March (depending on their playoff run) and after that he hopes to hook up with an NBA team.
It would be a fun story, but I don’t see how it happens. Last season in China Marbury averaged 21.4 points and 5.5 assists per game, shooting 34.1 percent from three. Those numbers sound impressive until you consider that the Chinese league is known for an appalling lack of defense — I don’t mean major college bad, more like DIII bad (and that’s not fair to the DIII guys, who at least try). Maybe a better description is disinterested AAU team bad. Let me put it this way, last season the top three scorers in China were Jimmer Fredette at 37.6 points per game, Errick McCollum at 37.5, and MarShon Brooks 36.2 — and none of them got NBA contracts.
Marbury was struggling to stay on the court and play at an NBA level eight years ago, it’s hard to imagine him doing it now.
I loved Marbury’s game and would love to see him play again, but this may be more of a Big3 situation than the NBA. That said, a team or two may give him a look.