Stephon Marbury, one of the most exciting, entertaining, and enigmatic players in recent NBA history is making a comeback to The Association.
After 9 (!) years in China, Starbury posted a long message on Instagram writing that this would be his last year in basketball and that he wants to play his final season in the NBA.
“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.”
It’s interesting that Marbury was down to retire with the Beijing Ducks but the GM of the team seemingly wasn’t down. If Starbury isn’t wanted in China where he won 3 championship rings and had a statue built for him, it’s unclear if he’ll be up to the level of the NBA.
To that end, Marbury wrote on Instagram about the grueling training regimen in China where they practice constantly, which isn’t allowed in the NBA. Marbury claimed that this practice schedule has him ready for the NBA.
He also referenced his accomplishments in China, which are not limited to the basketball court, but also include an ambassadorship, a statue, and most importantly internal peace. Marbury wrote,
“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.”
Marbury is a legend in China, but we can’t forget how dominant he was at one point before it all kinda fell apart for him. The Coney Island kid still has a career average of 19.3 ppg in the NBA and he electrified courts with his vision, athleticism, and knack for the spectacular.
In January 2005, Stephon Marbury was traded to the New York Knicks in a homecoming that seemed like a match made in heaven. He averaged 19.8 and 21.7 ppg in his first two seasons in New York, but things soon fell apart.
Public feuds with head coach Larry Brown and then Isiah Thomas saw Marbury benched indefinitely.
His last NBA season came in 2008-2009 as a member of the Boston Celtics. In limited minutes Marbury contributed to a Celtics team that lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Then that summer, Marbury livestreamed himself to fans while openly crying and eating vaseline in a bizarre incident that became a viral sensation.
So, not only did Marbury contribute to the changing style of point guards who can score the ball, he also kind of revolutionized athletes and celebrities livestreaming and interacting with fans.
Marbury would later admit to being suicidal and depressed as his NBA career fizzled out.
It was a precipitous and dramatic fall going from one of the most electric players in the league to eating vaseline on the internet, but Marbury’s redemption in China over the years was beautiful to see.
I have my doubts that a comeback to the NBA is possible, mostly because I’m not sure what team would sign him, but dammit I hope it happens. Marbury was one of the most entertaining players of the early 2000s.