Marbury not finished yet: Beijing Ducks legend, 40, wants another crack at the NBA after leaving China
Two-time NBA all-star plans a return to the big time in the twilight of his career
Former Beijing Ducks star point guard Stephon Marbury has shocked basketball by confirming he intends to play on for one more season and hopes to make a remarkable comeback in the world-leading NBA.
The 40-year-old departed the Ducks to huge fanfare earlier this year and looked set to call time on his storied career after returning home to the United States. But the former Boston Celtics player revealed on social media earlier this week that he still feels able to cut it at the top level of the sport and is planning one final campaign in the US.
— I AM PEACE STAR (@StarburyMarbury) September 12, 2017
The news has been received with surprise by some in the NBA fraternity. The New York Post newspaper in the Brooklyn-native’s home state went so far as to suggest former team the New York Knicks, with whom Marbury spent a tumultuous five years before his move to China, could make use of his services, while acknowledging that the veteran might struggle to find a franchise willing to take a gamble on him.
He currently has no training camp or contract offer from an NBA team.
Marbury spent a hugely successful six years in Beijing, where two statues have been erected in his honour, counting a CBA finals MVP, a CBA foreign MVP and six All-Star awards among his accolades. In the 2012 CBA season, he posted 29.5 points per game.
I'm making a #nba come back for the fans who want to see me play my last year as a pro. After hearing so many people say come back I finally prayed about it and gave it major thought. I thought the perfect ending would of been retiring with the Beijing Ducks but it's clear the GM had other thoughts which is fine. My love for the ducks will always be A1 from day 1. I still have a lot of go in me as a player and at 40 being able to play at a high level is a gift. Being able to stay mentally focused and physically fit takes a different type of discipline. I'm motivated to make this the best year of my career as I end a 21 year long journey in the game I love. It's been a blessing to play 13 years in the @nba and this year 9 years in the @cbachina China has groomed my game and my style of play. China made me sharp and consistent. We practice Monday-Wed from 9-11:45 and 3-5:45. Thursday one practice 9-11:45 and Friday-Sat same schedule as M-W. I thought I would die at first coming from the NBA where you can't practice that long before the season starts. Oh and we do that for over 40 days. This way of training can either break you or make you. I'd like to look at it as it made me. So I'm ready and prepared to take on a challenge I once faced but with chips under my belt along with all that has come with winning chips in China. Statues, museum, green card, Honorary citizen, ambassador for the environmental protection bureau, key to the city, only 30 people ever to receive the key to the city of Beijing and MY PEACE something no one can ever take. So with all of these things I feel complete and ready to turn towards the last page of my basketball dairy that I've been writing since 95 when I left Lincoln High. I thank all of the positive energy from all those who showed it throughout my time away from the NBA. Thank you for always keeping it 100. @stephonmarbury_3 @espn @marcjspears @nytimes @nypost @nydailynews @newsday @slamonline #starburymovement #starbuy #loveislove
A post shared by Starbury.com (@starburymarbury) on Sep 12, 2017 at 9:56am PDT
He left the Ducks in April of this year under a cloud having fallen out with the team’s hierarchy, but with the overwhelming support of Beijing fans.
He later signed a short-term deal with a separate Beijing franchise, the Fly Dragons, which he is expected to honour before embarking on his NBA return in March.
He made the headlines recently following an emotional reunion with a Beijing Ducks fan during a speaking engagement in New York.
If he were to realise his ambition of a return to the big time, there would be only one active player, Memphis Grizzlies forward Vince Carter, older than Marbury in the NBA.