Marbury in discussions over ‘perfect’ NBA ending
Ex-Ducks star speaking with franchise as veteran bids to bow out back home
Stephon Marbury hopes to finish off his basketball career back in the NBA.
The 40-year old former Beijing Ducks guard is playing in the CBA this season for the Beijing Fly Dragons, and when the league ends in February or March he wants to join an NBA franchise.
“I’ve spoken to a team,” Marbury told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Malaysia on Wednesday night.
“It’s still premature right now, but I’m open to coming back and trying to play that veteran leadership role.
“For myself, it’s a perfect ending being able to mend ties. It will be a team that I will be able to help and I’m looking forward to it.
“It’s a great opportunity at my age to be able to hoop. I’m thankful for that. A lot of people can’t walk at my age.”
Marbury, who first mentioned his interest in playing in the NBA again on Instagram, didn’t want to disclose which team he had discussions with.
“It’s a great opportunity because I was anticipating retiring in Beijing with the Ducks,” he said.
“It’s the perfect opportunity to go back. I want to do this for the people who had been supporting me for so many years.”
Marbury had a 13-year NBA career playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. However, he hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2008-09 season. He averaged 19.3 points and 7.6 assists during his NBA career.
He’s spent the last nine years playing in China, becoming a major fan favorite and celebrity as he helped the Ducks win three CBA championships.
Marbury met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver in China last October and has had positive meetings in New York with the league and the Knicks.
“I wanted to make sure things are right before I made that decision to go back to the NBA. The timing is right and the exit strategy is a good one,” he said.
Brooklyn-born Marbury had a rough five-year stint with the Knicks that included clashes with coaches and teammates. It ended with the two sides agreeing to a buyout in 2009 after he was benched for his final season in New York.
“For me it’s vital to continue to share my experiences and help the younger generation,” added Marbury.
“I’ve been through a lot of different things. Those experiences would be a great teacher for some of the younger kids.
“It’s my final year as a basketball player and it’s important to me to try and make that right. New York is home no matter what.”
Even if he can’t get back in the NBA, Marbury plans to stay near the game. He wants to coach the Chinese national team, and told AP last month that CBA president Yao Ming has told him he’ll be considered if he learns Chinese. Marbury plans to take classes during the upcoming season. He may also try his hand in the Big3 3-on-3 league.
One thing’s for sure. Whether he gets a shot again in the NBA or not, Marbury plans on retiring from playing basketball at the end of the year.
“It’s time to pass on the shoes to my (12-year-old) son,” Marbury said.
Stephon Marbury, playing for China North, drives down court against Liu Wei of China South, during the CBA’s 2010 All-Star Game in Beijing. The 40-year-old Marbury, who will play for the Beijing Fly Dragons next season, hopes to finish off his playing career back in the NBA.