January 19, 2010

Starbury's China Adventure

Should I be shocked? Stephon Marbury has been signed by Chinese Basketball League (CBA) squad Shanxi Zhongyu.

This is from the New York Post:

Marbury, who failed to sign with an NBA team during free agency and claimed he would sit out the season, has agreed to play in China, according to the team Web site of Shanxi Club.
The Chinese club is ranked 15th of 17 teams. The boss, Wang Xingjiang said on the team Web site: "The aim of signing Marbury is to pay back our fans and try to win more games the rest of the season."




Stephon Marbury has a knack for the unexpected. Once my favourite basketball player (it's true, it's true) when racking up a constant 20 and 8 in those years with Timberwolves, Nets, and Suns, 'Starbury' has gone from "brilliant, but slightly erratic" to "He's loony, let's find a straitjacket".

He pulled the unexpected when he called him the best basketball player in the league while with the Knicks, only to have the world witness him following that statement with the worst statistical seasons of his career. He shocked the world with his legendary, possibly stoned appearance in an NBC interview. He surprised everyone (in a good way) when he released $15 dollar Starbury shoes. He had feuds with all his Knick coaches: Larry Brown, Isiah Thomas, and even Mike D'Antoni. And Jah only knows what he was on when he decided to broadcast his life live on uStream, where he cried, ate Vaseline, talked smack about other NBA players, and danced along to 'Barbie Girl'.

Here is 'The Young Turks' analysing the classic Mike'd Up video on YouTube:



A comeback with the Celtics showed some effort by Marbury to accept a smaller, unselfish role, but it wasn't enough to get him any guaranteed contracts a season later.

And then, this news hits my Starbury-jarred consciousness today: Marbury has reportedly accepted a relatively meagre $25,000 contract with Shanxi Zhongyu, currently ranked an illustrious 15th (of 17) in the CBA. It is nothing but a promotional move, both for the team as well as for Marbury's shoe-line, but hey, at least they're openly admitting it!

(Shanxi is the same team that signed Bonzi Wells a season ago, and while Bonzi dominated, the team decided to stop playing him once their CBA playoff hopes diminished.



I've been a Starbury apologist for too many years, which reached its peak when the Knicks brought him in as their (false) saviour. His career averages (after 13 NBA seasons), are still respectable, at 18.3 points and 7.6 assists a game. But there is no denying his 'Virus' tag: even when he has performed well, his team's were mostly below par. There is little space for him to make Shanxi any worse, unless of course, he's got bigger plans for destruction. Be a total dick in China, blame it all on America, and uStream his feelings about the Third World War soon after it breaks out.

Please come back to sanity, Stephon, the world will be better for it (although admittedly, far less interesting).

Interestingly, Shanxi are currently coached by none other than Bob Weiss who is last remembered for being fired by the Seattle Supersonics in 2006.


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